A STUDY PROTOCOL ON RISK FACTORS FOR HEPATITIS C INFECTION AMONG ADULT PATIENTS AT TERTIARY HOSPITALS IN KEDAH STATE
Background: Hepatitis C virus is a bloodborne virus and commonly transmitted by contaminated blood mainly via clinical procedures and intravenous drug use. However, quality design study to explore the potential risk factor for hepatitis C infection in general local population is lacking. Thus, the present study is proposed to fill the gap in the body of knowledge of the related issue.
Materials and Methods: A matched hospital-based, case-control study will be conducted to identify the risk factors for hepatitis C infection. Patients with positive anti-HCV antibodies recruited from two participating tertiary hospitals will be in the case group, and controls will be those with negative serology for HCV infection that attending other specialist outpatient clinic of the same hospital where the case will be recruited. All cases and controls will be matched by gender, age (within 5 years) and ethnicity, with a ratio of one case to one control. Information on patient risk exposure will be collected using a standardised questionnaire. This study requires 291 pairs of matched case-control. Conditional logistic regression will be used for data analysis using STATA software.
Expected Outcome: The conduct of proposed study will help to identify common local practice that has an association with the hepatitis C infection. It is anticipated that the study results will inform the local health authorities and policy makers on key areas to formulate cost-effective preventive programs to reduce the incidence and transmission of this virus infection in Kedah state and Malaysia.
Keywords: bloodborne, hepatitis C, infection, matched case-control, risk factors.