Departments of *Medicine †Surgery, The University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles ‡Department of Medicine, Olive-View Medical Center, Sylmar §Owl Specialty Pharmacy, Los Angeles, CA.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a global medical health concern. Egypt has the highest HCV prevalence. Few studies have assessed the HCV prevalence rates among Egyptian-born expatriates. We sought to define the HCV prevalence Egyptian-born individuals residing in the Southern California area.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
We screened Egyptian-born individuals in houses of worship in the Southern California area using a point of care test HCV antibody test. Results were confirmed by testing the blood for viral load. Demographic information including risk factors were also collected. Individuals were contacted with their results, and those found to be detectable HCV antibodies were referred for further testing and additional care.
Three hundred twenty-six Egyptian expatriates from 7 houses of worship in Southern California were screened for the HCV infection. Most of the participants were screened at Coptic Churches. Nine of these individuals were found to be HCV infected (2.8%). We found an increased HCV seroprevalence in subjects were male and born in Egyptian urban areas. Five of the 9 subjects (56%) who tested positive were not baby boomers and only 2 of these 9 subjects (22%) had recognized Center for Disease Control risk factors.
The HCV prevalence rate of Egyptian-born individuals living in the Southern California area was lower compared with the prevalence rate in the general Egyptian population, but higher than that seen in the general US population. The utility of using Center for Disease Control risk factors to define individuals at risk of HCV among Egyptian expatriates is not applicable.