Introduction and objectives: Viral hepatitis is a global health problem with unequal distribution of disease burden in which low-income people are at higher risk for acquisition and underlying liver diseases. This study aimed to seek the prevalence of hepatitis B and C viruses, HIV, and liver damage among low-income patients attending a public tertiary care hospital in West Mexico. Methods: A retrospective/cross-sectional study at the Department of Genomic Medicine in Hepatology was conducted between March 1, 2016 to March 30, 2017. A total of 10,352 patients tested for anti-HCV, HBsAg, or anti-HIV (n=23,074) were included. Age, gender, and hospital service were registered. Liver fibrosis was assessed using APRI and FIB-4 scores. Results: Overall, 3.9% were anti-HCV+ (305/7848), 1.0% were HBsAg+ (80/7894), and 2.9% were anti-HIV+ (210/7332). A 43.8% (750/1959) of patients negative for all viruses had either abnormal AST, ALT, or GGT (≥40 UI/L). Also, significant liver fibrosis (APRI ≥ 0.7) was prevalent in 10.6% (191/1804). In patients who tested positive for viral infections, liver fibrosis was detected in 20.4% (11/54) of HBsAg+, 34.2% (53/155) in anti-HCV+ and 15.5% (16/103) in anti-HIV+. Anti-HCV+ was highest in Geriatrics (11.1%), HBsAg+ in HIV patients (3.0%) and anti-HIV+ in Emergency room attendees (33.3%). Conclusion: High seroprevalence of HCV, HBV, and HIV infections was found among the studied population. Significant liver fibrosis was detected in negative and positive patients for viral infections. Medical services need to continuously test for viral infections, promote early detection of chronic liver damage and identify target patients for elimination strategies to decrease disease burden.
Elsevier, Annals of Hepatology, Volume 27, January 2022