I.O. George and L.E. Yaguo Ide
Hepatitis B virus infection is one of the most comm on infectious diseases globally and may result in cirrhosis and liver cell cancer. The aim of this st udy was to determine the prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection in children with sickle cell anaemi a presenting at the Hematology Clinic of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Nige ria. This was a prospective hospital based study of children with sickle cell anaemia from the age o f 6 months to 18 years presenting at the Haematology Clinic of the University of Port Harcou rt Teaching Hospital from June 2006 to February 2007. Information obtained included gender, age, ha emoglobin genotype and hepatitis B surface antigen. Those with incomplete records were exclude d. There were a total of 132 patients with sickle cell anaemia. Seventy two (54.5 %) were males while 60(45.5%) were females. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) was available for 84 patients. Out of these, 3 were HBsAg positive giving a prevalence of 3.6%. In the control population out o f 100 transfused cases 1(1%) was HBsAg positive. However, there was no statistical significance betw een the two groups (P=0.24). Hepatitis B virus infection is not uncommon among patients with sickl e cell anaemia. There is, therefore, need to routinely screen these patient in order to reduce t he burden of the disease.
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