Background Immunosupressive therapy, especially tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) inhibitors can induce viral reactivation and potentially fatal liver failure in patients with concurrent Hepatitis B virus (HBV) or Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. But the prevalence of HBV and HCV infections could differ according to geographic regions. Although it is suspected as the prevalance of HBV and HCV in patients with rheumatoid artritis (RA) and ankylosing spondilitis (AS) in not different from general population, multicenter countrywide studies are required to support this idea
Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of HBsAg and Anti HCV seropositivity in RA and AS patients.
Methods Totally 1514 (F:M=1176/338) RA and 854 (F:M=388/466) AS consecutive patients who were fulfilling ACR 1987 RA and ASAS-EULAR 2009 Spondyloarthropathies criteria and being regularly followed in Rheumatology outpatient clinic from the six different geographic areas of Turkey were recruited in this study. The prevalence of HBsAg and Anti HCV were retrospectively investigated and compared with general population data from “Turkish Hepatology Society” prevalence study that included 5465 healthy subjects.
Results The mean age was 48.7±13.9 years in RA and 36.9±10.8 years in AS patients. The mean disease duration was 6.4±6.1 and 6.3±5.9 years, respectively. HBsAg prevalance was lower both RA and AS patients than general population [33 (2.2%), 25 (2.9%) and 218 (3.99%), respectively; p<0.01]. On the other hand Anti HCV prevalence was not different among the groups [15 (1%), 8 (0.9%) and 52 (0.95%), respectively; p>0.05] (see Table 1).
HBsAg and Anti HCV seropositivity were higher in female than male patients in RA group (HBsAg; 3.9% vs 1.7, p=0.01 and Anti HCV; 1.3% vs 0%, respectively, p=0.03). However, no difference was observed in HBsAg and Anti HCV results between gender in the AS group. (HbsAg; 3.5% vs 2.6% and Anti HCV; %0.8 vs %1.1, respectively p>0.05).
Conclusions Prevalence of HBsAg seropositivity in patients with RA and AS is lower than general population. Further studies are required about this low prevalence. Being a HBV carrier might decrease applying to hospital in patients with RA and AS.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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