OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the prevalence of hepatitis virus infection in a large population of patients in terms of diseases requiring oral surgery. DESIGN: Retrospective case survey. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Prevalence of hepatitis B and C virus (HBV, HCV) infection were compared between oral diseases such as inflammation, cysts, cancer, trauma, benign tumors, impacted teeth, or jaw deformity in dental inpatients (n = 5830) with adjustment for age, gender, and history of surgery. RESULTS: Of 4402 inpatients, 94 had HB surface(s) antigen (2.1%), while 151 of 2613 were seropositive for HCV (5.8%). Prevalences of HBs antigen and HCV antibody exceeded those in the general population. HBs antigen was more prevalent in patients with benign oral tumors than in patients with impacted teeth, whether or not adjustment was made for age (odds ratios, 4.246 and 5.055 with and without age adjustment, respectively; P < 0.05). On the other hand, HCV antibody was more prevalent in patients with oral cancer than in those with impacted teeth before adjustment for age (odds ratios, 2.433; P < 0.05), but this difference was reversed with age adjustment (odds ratios, 0.443; P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: HBs antigen was more prevalent in patients with benign oral tumors, while HCV antibody was higher in patients with oral cancer. However, this increased incidence of HCV antibody apparently was a reflection of age. HCV infection may not have an etiologically important association with oral cancer.
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