Authors: NEBİYE YENTÜR DONİ, ZEYNEP ŞİMŞEK, GÜLCAN GÜRSES, FADİLE YILDIZ ZEYREK, MUHSİN AKBABA
Abstract: Background/aim: The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of antihepatitis A virus (HAV), risk factors, and the knowledge of female farm workers living in the Southeastern Anatolia Region (SAR) of Turkey. Materials and methods: This representative cross-sectional survey was conducted between January and April of 2013 in the SAR. A total of 705 reproductive-aged women were randomly selected by clustering method using Epi Info software. The sera were analyzed for anti-HAV antibodies using ELISA. Sociodemographic information and the knowledge of female farm workers regarding hepatitis A were collected using a questionnaire. Results: Of the female farm workers, 99.1% were seropositive for anti-HAV. The anti-HAV seroprevalence was significantly higher in the adults than in the adolescents (P < 0.05). Of the participants, 64.5% had 7 or more family members, 58.4% had 5 or more pregnancies, 68.1% were illiterate, 65.2% were family farmers, 90.6% were poor, 71.9% used unsafe water, 58.9% had toilets outside, and 68% had no knowledge about hepatitis A. Conclusion: Turkey is considered to have high endemicity and female farm workers are considered a high-risk group for hepatitis A. This high HAV exposure might be reduced with vaccination, as well as improvements in sanitation, living conditions, health care utilization, safer drinking water, and health education.
Keywords: Anti-HAV, reproductive-aged women, agricultural area, seroprevalence
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