Seroprevalence and risk factors for hepatitis C virus antibody in pregnant women

V. R. Bohman, R. W. Stettler, B. B. Little, G. D. Wendel, L. J. Sutor, F. G. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Objective: To better understand hepatitis C viropathies and seroprevalence by performing an epidemiologic analysis of pregnant women seropositive for antibody against hepatitis C. Methods: We studied 1013 consecutive obstetric patients at Parkland Memorial Hospital who gave informed consent for detailed interviews and serotesting. Sera were analyzed for antibody to the hepatitis C virus using both C100-3 and RIBA-4 assays. Neonatal assessment was carried out in the immediate postpartum period. Results: Hepatitis C antibody was detected in 2.28% (N = 23) of the 1005 women in whom analysis was completed. Factors associated with seropositivity included intravenous (IV) drug use, sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis B infection, maternal age greater than 22.5 years, increased parity (eg, greater than 2.1), history of transfusion, and three or more different lifetime sexual partners or a sexual partner who used IV drugs. Maternal and neonatal outcome was not different between hepatitis C antibody-positive and -negative groups. Conclusions: Epidemiologic data are consistent with sexual and parenteral modes of transmission. Women with hepatitis C antibody did not have excessive perinatal complications compared with antibody-negative women. A model protocol and cost analysis for screening pregnant women for hepatitis C infection are presented. However, routine screening for hepatitis C is not advocated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-613
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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