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Bakr et al (Gut 2006;55:1183–7), in a large population-based cross-sectional survey on hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Egypt, found that HCV clearance rates (ie, positive HCV antibodies and negative HCV-RNA test results) were significantly higher in women (44%) compared with men (33.7%, adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.77).1 They conclude that these findings provide a strong evidence for a higher HCV clearance rate in women compared with men.
We have obtained different results in three published population-based surveys (not cited by Bakr in the references) performed in Southern Italian towns.2–4 The overall prevalence of HCV antibody was 324/2561 (12.6%). The prevalence was slightly higher in women (13.7%) than in men (11.3%), a difference which is not statistically significant. None of the anti-HCV-positive patients had previously received antiviral treatment, none reported intravenous drug use, and none of them were …
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