The global epidemiology of hepatitis delta virus infection is changing.
Dr Hamid and colleagues from Pakistan determined the epidemiology and clinical impact of hepatitis delta in Pakistan.
The investigators collected countrywide data from 1994 to 2001 and a total of 8721 patients were tested for hepatitis delta antibody.
The investigative team included a subset of 97 hepatitis delta antibody reactive inpatients with chronic liver disease.
The team compared the patients to 97 patients admitted with liver disease due to hepatitis B alone.
Of the 8721 patients tested, 1444 were reactive for hepatitis delta antibody.
|Delta infected patients had less severe clinical liver disease|
|Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The investigators reported that 87% were males and with a mean age of 31 years, younger than hepatitis delta virus non-reactive patients.
The team noted that the prevalence of delta infection was highest in the rural compared to the urban population.
Analysis of the inpatient data showed that delta infected patients had less severe clinical liver disease.
The investigators also noted a trend towards lesser development of hepatocellular carcinoma compared to delta negative patients.
Dr Mumtaz's team commented, “Hepatitis delta virus infection is present in 16% of hepatitis B infected patients in Pakistan, most commonly in younger males living in rural areas.”
“Delta virus infected patients have less severe clinical liver disease compared to delta negative, hepatitis B patients.”