The epidemiology of viral hepatitis in Qatar.

Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Hamad General Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, State of Qatar.
Saudi journal of kidney diseases and transplantation: an official publication of the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, Saudi Arabia 01/2011; 20(2):300-6.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Viral hepatitis is a major public health problem in many countries all over the world and especially in Middle East, Asia, East-Europe, and Africa. The aim of our study was to assess the incidence of viral hepatitis A, B and C in Qatar and compare it with other countries. This is a retrospective cohort study, which was conducted at Hamad General Hospital, State of Qatar from 2002-2006. Patients who were screened and diagnosed with viral hepatitis were included in this study. The diagnostic classification of definite viral hepatitis was made in accordance with criteria based on the International Classification of Disease tenth revision (ICD-10). A total of 527 cases of hepatitis C, 396 cases of hepatitis B, 162 cases of hepatitis A and 108 cases of unspecified were reported during the year 2006. Reported incidence rate per 10,000 populations during the year 2006 for hepatitis A was 1.9, hepatitis B 4.7, and Hepatitis C 6.3. The proportion of hepatitis B and C was significantly higher in male population than females across the years (2002-2006). Hepatitis A was more prevalent in children below 15 years (72.3%), hepatitis B in adults aged above 15 years, and hepatitis C in the population above 35 years of age. The incidence of hepatitis A has been declining in Qataris and increasing in expatriates. There was a significant relationship in gender and age group of the patients with hepatitis A, B and C. We conclude that hepatitis has become a national health issue in Qatar. The incidence rate of hepatitis in Qatar is comparable to its neighboring countries, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. There is a need for further research on hepatitis and the associated risk factors.

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