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Hepatitis B Virus and Hepatitis C Virus Seroprevalence in the Elderly Living in Nursing Homes
  1. Isil Maral*,
  2. Funda Dogruman-Al,
  3. Coskun Bakar,
  4. Mustafa Necmi Ilhan*,
  5. Meltem Yalinay-Cirak,
  6. Mehmet Ali Bumin*
  1. From the *Department of Public Health, †Department of Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology, Beşevler, Gazi University Medical Faculty; and ‡Department of Public Health, Baskent University Medical Faculty, Beşevler, Ankara, Turkey.
  1. Received February 5, 2009, and in revised form April 14, 2009.
  2. Accepted for publication April 23, 2009.
  3. Reprints: Funda Dogruman-Al, Gazi University Medical Faculty, Department of Microbiology and Clinical Microbiology, 06500, Beşevler, Ankara, Turkey. E-mail: alfunda{at}
  4. This study was supported by the Gazi University Scientific Research Project Unit within the scope of project code 01-2001/31. The local ethics committee of Gazi University Medical Faculty (No. 2003/106, October 31, 2003) and the Social Services and Child Protection Agency approved the study protocol.
  5. Part of this study was presented as a poster at the IXth National Public Health Congress, November 3-6, 2004, Ankara.


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.

Key Words
  • hepatitis B virus
  • hepatitis C virus
  • elderly
  • vaccination

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