BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a significant health concern in patients with end-stage renal disease under dialysis. Epidemiological studies have reported a prevalence rate of 5.5-55.9% for this condition in Iran.
OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the risk factors for HCV infection and seroconversion in hemodialysis patients.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed on 455 hemodialysis patients from each of the five dialysis units in Tabriz, northwest Iran. Possible risk factors for HCV infection and seroconversion were evaluated.
RESULTS: A total of 37 patients were HCV positive (8.1% of the study population) and seroconversion occurred in 18 of them during the dialysis treatment (3.95% of the study population). History of renal transplantation (44.4%, P < 0.0001), surgical intervention (except for renal transplantation and AV fistula placement) (94.4%, P = 0.03), and mean duration of dialysis (106.06 ± 55.519, P < 0.0001) had strong statistically significant associations with the seroconversion.
CONCLUSIONS: The current study indicates increased risk for HCV infection in patients under dialysis and its relation with the mean duration of hemodialysis, history of renal transplantation and surgical intervention. Considering the immune deficiency in these patients, intense education to both patients and medical staff will be beneficial.