Background Communal living situations such as nursing homes create a risk for the spread of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus (HCV). The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus and HCV in the elderly living in 2 nursing homes in Ankara, Turkey.
Methods A total of 227 persons (mean age, 76.11 ± 8.55 years) participated in this cross-sectional study. All individuals were investigated seroprevalence for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), anti-HBs immunoglobulin G (IgG), anti-hepatitis B core IgG, and anti-HCV IgG.
Results Positive seroprevalence was 11.9% for HBsAg, 48.0% for anti-HBs IgG, 25.1% for anti-hepatitis B core IgG, and 2.5% for anti-HCV IgG. Hepatitis B surface antigen positivity was 12.4% in males and 11.5% in females (P > 0.05); and the seroprevalence was 10.4% for those living in nursing homes for 1 year or less and 13.0% for those living in nursing homes for more than 1 year (P > 0.05).
Conclusions The fact that nearly half of those living in nursing homes had not encountered hepatitis B infection or had not received hepatitis B vaccination indicates the need for administering hepatitis B vaccines in this group.