Title

A prevalence of hepatitis C in pregnant women of Pakistan: A systematic review

Document Type

Article

Department

Community Health Sciences

Abstract

Hepatitis C is a major public health problem affecting 3% of the population around the world. However, worldwide prevalence of hepatitis C in pregnant women is variable. In Pakistan alone prevalence of hepatitis C in pregnant women varies from 0.7% to 36%. Unfortunately, a rising prevalence of HCV in pregnant women is making them vulnerable to complications. Therefore, the purpose of this analysis is to estimate a prevalence rate that represents the actual burden of hepatitis C in pregnant women; by pooling the prevalence of hepatitis C in pregnant women reported in 17 studies from Pakistan. Pakmedinet, PubMed through the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), MEDLINE and Google Scholar search engines were employed for literature search. Studies published in the English language from the year 2001 and onwards have been included in this review. Since there is a paucity of studies related to this topic, we did not exclude any published literature fulfilling inclusion criteria. The quality of each study was assessed using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale. Paper review was done by two reviewers with data extracted and compiled in MS Excel. The registration number of the study is CRD42016042341. A total of 17 studies from Pakistan reported prevalence of hepatitis C in pregnant women; 3 each were conducted in Islamabad and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa respectively, 5 in Punjab and 6 studied were conducted in Sindh province. From 17 studies, we pooled 124635 pregnant women screened for hepatitis C and of them, 8342 women were found to be positive for Anti-HCV. The overall prevalence of hepatitis in pregnant women of Pakistan was 6.7% (95% CI: 6.5-6.8) while its range varied from 0.7% to 36%. In Pakistan, the overall prevalence of hepatitis C in pregnant women was 6.7%. Nonetheless these findings cannot be disregarded and should be used by Policymakers for considering the antenatal screening of hepatitis C in pregnant women.

Publication

i-manager's Journal on Nursing

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