ABSTRACT: Health care workers are at risk of acquiring transmissible diseases. Controversial results have been reported about HCV. The aims of the present study are to assess the prevalence of HCV in health care workers in Pistoia General Hospital (central Italy) and to compare prevalence with other groups, particularly with a sample of the general population. Serum samples collected from 511 health care employees engaged in direct clinical task and 222 clerical and nurse school attendees have been tested by ELISA and confirmed by RIBA. Total seroprevalence was 3.8%:4.7% in the first group; 1.8% in the second group. The data showed a slight increase in prevalence by age and not by length of stay in the health care workers' group. Comparison of HCV prevalence with blood donors from the province of Pistoia and the general population from Sersale (Catanzaro, southern Italy), restricted to under-40 subjects, indicates an increasing trend in this order: Blood donors, general population, clerical and nursing school attendees, health care workers' group with the highest value (3.4%). A cohort study is needed to evaluate pattern of HCV seroconversion.
European Journal of Epidemiology 02/2004; 19(1):73-7. · 4.71 Impact Factor