Hepatitis C is a curable disease, but reinfection from household contact may occur in patients who have achieved sustained viral response (SVR).
A total of 997 ethnic Han HCV treatment-naïve adult patients were enrolled in a cross-sectional study with stratified sampling based on the populations of five geographic regions across China to examine the genetic and physiological parameters associated with the phenomenon of HCV familial clustering.
Of the total 997 patients, there were 59 patients who had at least one family member with HCV infection according to patient self-report. Comparison between patients with and without HCV familial clustering by univariate regression analysis showed that genotype 2, sexual transmission, long-term exposure to HCV patients, monthly family income per person less than 2000 yuan, farming occupation, and the southern and northern regions were associated with HCV familial clustering. Blood transfusion was negatively associated with HCV familial clustering. Multivariate logistic regression analysis suggested that long-term exposure to HCV patients and low family income were correlated with HCV familial clustering, whereas blood transfusion was negatively associated, which meant that blood transfusion was not the main transmission route in HCV familial clustering.
Long-term exposure to HCV patients and low family income were correlated with HCV familial clustering, whereas blood transfusion was not the main transmission route in HCV familial clustering. To reduce reinfection from household contacts, education and awareness of HCV transmission routes and familial clustering should be strengthened, especially among HCV patients’ family members, low-income families and non-blood transmission hepatitis C patients.