Background and Aims Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is an enteric viral infectious disease that is endemic in Turkey. Asymptomatic or subclinical infection often occurs in children, and symptomatic acute infections are more common in adolescents and young adults. In this study, we investigated the seropositivity for HAV and the associated socioeconomic factors in children aged between 2 and 18 years.
Methods A questionnaire was administered that addressed gender, age, number of household members, monthly family income, history of jaundice and immunization, number of rooms in the house, education level of the parents, day-care/school attendance, and type of water supply. The socioeconomic status score of each child was determined by summing the scores for monthly family income, education level of the parents, number of rooms in the house and number of people living in the house. Blood samples were collected and analyzed for anti-HAV IgG.
Results Significant associations between anti-HAV seropositivity and socioeconomic status, age under 6 years old and attending day-care, a history of jaundice and monthly family income were found (p<0.001, p=0.003, p<0.001, p=0.04, respectively). Only the association between the history of jaundice and anti-HAV seropositivity remained significant in the multivariate analysis, with an adjusted Odds ratio of 13.1 (range: 2.9–59.5; p=0.001).
Conclusions Our findings showed an inverse correlation between HAV seropositivity and socioeconomic status. A high in-house population and paternal education level were not a significant factor increasing the risk of anti-HAV positivity. However, as the maternal education level increased, less HAV positivity was recorded.