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April 1972

Hepatitis Associated Antigen Carriers Among Blood Donors in Greece: Distribution by Age, Sex, ABO Group, and Relation to Icteric Posttransfusion Hepatitis

Author Affiliations

From the Second Department of Medicine, Athens University (Drs. Hadziyannis, Merikas, and Panetsos); and Blood Bank Department, Evangelismos Hospital (Dr. Kourepi), Athens.

Am J Dis Child. 1972;123(4):381-383. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110100113041

The incidence of hepatitis-associated antigen (HAA) among presumably healthy adults in Greece has been unusually high (2.9%) compared with figures reported in other European countries and in the United States.1,2 In addition to this high incidence, a parallel high frequency of icteric posttransfusion hepatitis (307 cases/10,000 units of transfused blood) has also been discovered in our country.3 Because of these findings and of the known intimate relationship of HAA with infectivity,4 we investigated the incidence of the carrier state of HAA among blood donors in Greece, its distribution by several factors, and its relation to icteric posttransfusion hepatitis.

Material and Methods  Sera from 5,035 blood donors were examined for HAA by the immunodiffusion technique; 1,500 were also examined by counterelectrophoresis.5 Among the donors, 2,300 were professionals, 1,735 were relatives of patients, and 1,000 were recruits. Liver function tests and serial determinations of HAA were performed in

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