Epidemiology of hepatitis C virus among hemodialysis patients in the Middle East and North Africa: systematic syntheses, meta-analyses, and meta-regressions

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We aimed to investigate hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemiology among hemodialysis (HD) patients in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Our data source was an HCV biological measures database populated through systematic literature searches. Descriptive epidemiologic syntheses, effects meta-analyses and meta-regressions, and genotype analyses were conducted. We analyzed 289 studies, including 106 463 HD patients. HCV incidence ranged between 0 and 100% as seroconversion risk, and between 0 and 14·7 per 1000 person-years as incidence rate. The regional pooled mean estimate was 29·2% (95% CI: 25·6–32·8%) for HCV antibody positive prevalence and 63·0% (95% CI: 55·4–70·3%) for the viremic rate. Region within MENA, country income group, and year of data collection were associated with HCV prevalence; year of data collection adjusted odds ratio was 0·92 (95% CI: 0·90–0·95). Genotype diversity varied across countries with four genotypes documented regionally: genotype 1 (39·3%), genotype 2 (5·7%), genotype 3 (29·6%), and genotype 4 (25·4%). Our findings showed that one-third of HD patients are HCV antibody positive and one-fifth are chronic carriers and can transmit the infection. However, HCV prevalence is declining. In context of growing HD patient population and increasing HCV treatment availability, it is critical to improve standards of infection control in dialysis and expand treatment coverage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Oct 2017



  • Epidemiology
  • hemodialysis
  • hepatitis C
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • prevalence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Infectious Diseases

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