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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 7-12

The prevalence of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) among pregnant women admitted to one public Hospital in Damascus, Syria

Department of Gastroenterology, Syrian Private University (SPU), Damascus, Syria

Correspondence Address:
Taghrid Younes Ahmad
Department of Gastroenterology, Syrian Private University (SPU), Damascus
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) affects 240 million people worldwide and is responsible for 686000 deaths annually due to its major complications. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported Syria as intermediate in the prevalence of CHB among the general population. However, no previous data was published about HBsAg-prevalence among pregnant women in this country. Objective: To determine the prevalence of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) among the pregnant women admitted to one of the two main centers of obstetrics and gynecology in Damascus, Syria. Methods: A cross-section study included 794 participants who were evaluated using a pretested structured questionnaire and then were screened for HBsAg using the fourth generation of ELISA. Results: Six of all participants (0.75%) had a positive test for HBsAg. Hepatitis b vaccine has been introduced to the National Immunization Program for newborn and infants in Syria since 1994. We classified the recruited pregnant women into two age groups: (≤ 21) and (>21) years old. This classification correlates to the year of introducing the vaccine. All positive HBsAg tests were among the women older than 21 years (1.13%, p=0.186). The multivariate analysis using log-regression test showed that only the previous knowledge about Hepatitis B virus (HBV) was found to be a negative factor regarding the presence of HBsAg (P=0.003). Conclusion: The prevalence of HBsAg among the pregnant women admitted to an obstetrics and gynecology center in Damascus, Syria was 0.75%. The study emphasizes the importance of raising the level of awareness about HBV in the Syrian society with the need to conduct further studies in high-risk groups to determine precise risk factors of transmitting HBV infection.

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