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Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression
IF: 1.841 5-Year IF: 1.927 SJR: 0.627 SNIP: 0.516 CiteScore™: 1.96

ISSN Print: 1045-4403
ISSN Online: 2162-6502

Critical Reviews™ in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevEukaryotGeneExpr.2017018953
pages 63-77

Epidemiology of Hepatitis C Infection in Pakistan: Current Estimate and Major Risk Factors

Aiman Arshad
Department of Bioinformatics & Biotechnology, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Usman Ali Ashfaq
Department of Bioinformatics & Biotechnology, Government College University, 38000 Faisalabad, Pakistan

ABSTRACT

In Pakistan, hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major healthcare problem, with acute and chronic infections responsible for liver damage, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Under the Human Development Index of the United Nations, Pakistan is ranked 134th of 174 countries due to its poor educational and health standards. This study was designed to study HCV and its genotype prevalence in different cities and provinces of Pakistan and describe the major routes of HCV transmission. Literature searches were performed in PubMed, Mendeley, and Google Scholar. Ninety different studies were screened for this review, ranging from those published during the years 2000 to 2013. By calculating the mean average of all studies, it was clear that HCV percentage prevalence in the adult population was 11.55%, blood donors 10.10%, pregnant women 4.65%, children 1.6%, patients with different diseases 24.97%, and injecting drug users had the highest prevalence at 51.0%. HCV genotype 3a prevalence was found to be 63.45%, the highest of all genotypes. The percentage prevalence of HCV found for all of the provinces was Punjab: 5.46%, Sindh: 2.55%, Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw: 6.07%, Balochistan: 25.77%, and federally administrated tribal areas: 3.37%. This study shows that the overall prevalence of HCV in the provinces of Pakistan is 8.64% and suggests that the major routes of HCV transmission are reuse of syringes and needles and unchecked blood transfusions. Awareness and economic growth are required to help decrease HCV infection and improve health standards in Pakistan.


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