Prevalence of positivity to antibodies to hepatitis C virus among volunteer blood donors in China: a meta-analysis
Public health. 2021;199:87-95
OBJECTIVES Safe blood transfusion plays an important role in the prevention of transfusion-transmissible infections, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the major problems associated with this procedure. This meta-analysis aimed to determine the prevalence of HCV infection in Chinese blood donors. STUDY DESIGN The study design of this study is a meta-analysis. METHODS Eligible studies were retrieved from PubMed, Embase, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, China Science and Technology Journal Database and Wanfang literature databases from 2010 to 2020. The effect measure was presented as HCV prevalence with a 95% confidence interval (CI). Q test was used to assess the heterogeneity, and the I(2) statistics was determined to decide whether a random effects model or a fixed effects model should be used as the pooling method. Subgroup analyses were also conducted. RESULTS A total of 62 eligible studies, including 9,007,220 HCV blood donors, were analysed. Of the total blood donors, 35,017 were infected with HCV. The pooled HCV prevalence was 0.415% (95% CI: 0.371-0.458). The subgroup analysis revealed that the prevalence of positivity to anti-HCV antibodies was significantly different in each year (P < 0.05). However, no significant difference was observed in HCV prevalence in terms of sex. Moreover, the prevalence of positivity to anti-HCV was remarkably higher in first-time blood donors than in repeat blood donors (P < 0.05), and the rate of HCV infection among university students was significantly lower than that among soldiers (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS The rate of HCV infection showed a downward trend from 2010 to 2014, increased in 2015-2016, and finally decreased in 2017-2018. Thus, the prevalence of HCV infection has decreased in Chinese blood donors after comprehensive prevention and treatment.