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Objective: To study the risk factors and clinical presentation of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in patients presented to a tertiary care hospital.
Material and Methods: This descriptive study was conducted in the Department of Medicine, Lady Reading
Hospital, Peshawar, from 01-03-2004 to 28-02-2005 on patients of HCV infection diagnosed on the basis of serologic testing and HCV RNA reactivity. A questionnaire was designed comprising detailed history and general physical examination with particular emphasis on previous operative procedures, blood transfusion, tattooing, dental procedure,use of common razors, self or barber house shavings, intravenous drug abuse, injection by quacks and organ transplantation.
Results: Out of 100 patients, with mean age of 46.80+13.15 years, 70 were male and 30 were female patients. HCV infection was common in farmers (30%), business community (23%), house wives (10%), teachers, mechanics and Labourers (8% each), students (7%) and healthcare providers (6%). Fifty percent patients were from urban areas and 50% from rural areas. Seventy five (75%) patients had history of injections, 31% patients had some dental procedures, 14% having history of operative procedures and 7% patients giving history of blood transfusion. Pain right hypochondrium was the commonest complaint (70%) followed by pain epigastrium, nausea and vomiting (65%). Hepatomegaly and splenomegaly were observed in 38% and 10% patients respectively.
Conclusion: The commonest route of transmission was in judicious use of injections. The commonest clinical
presentations were unexplained fatigue, aches and pains. Mass awareness programme is needed through electronic and print media.
Keywords: HCV, clinical presentation, Hepatomegaly
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