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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 11 (2003), Issue 4, Pages 191-198

Risk Factors for Hepatitis C Infection Among Sexually Transmitted Disease-Infected, Inner City Obstetric Patients

1Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, 185 South Orange Avenue, MSB-E506, Newark, NJ 07103, USA
2Preventive Medicine and Community Health, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, USA

Received 15 September 2002; Accepted 25 August 2003

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective: To test the hypothesis that our inner city obstetric patients who have been infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) will have a higher prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection than the general population and to identify specific risk factors and high-risk groups.

Methods: All patients in our prenatal clinic (July 1997–April 1999) who tested positive for one or more STDs were asked to return for hepatitis C antibody testing. Medical charts of all patients who returned for hepatitis C testing were reviewed.

Results: A total of 106 patients with STDs were tested for hepatitis C. Positive screening tests for anti-hepatitis C antibody were found in 6.6% (7/106) of the patients (95% CI = 2.7–13.1%). This frequency is significantly higher than the hepatitis C prevalence (1.8%) in the general United States population (p = 0.006). Multiple logistic regression analysis confirmed only older age (p = 0.016) and positive HIV status (p = 0.023) to be significant predictors of hepatitis C infection.

Conclusions: Inner city STD-infected obstetric patients are at high risk for hepatitis C infection compared with the general population. Increasing age and HIV-positive status are risk factors which are significantly associated with hepatitis C infection.