Ethics approval and consent to participate
Hprolipsis was approved by the Ethics Committee of the NKUA (date: March 4, 2015, protocol #: 6141); the general population EMENO survey was approved by the same ethics committee (date: November 8, 2012, protocol #: 1742) and by the Hellenic Data Protection Authority (date: December 7, 2012, protocol #: ΓΝ/ΕΞ/1069-1/07-12-2012).
All participants were given the time to carefully read the participant information and consent forms (PICF) and to ask relevant questions before they signed it.
A combination of digits demonstrating the population, region, interviewer, and serial number of the participant were used to prepare barcodes with unique individual codes. Barcodes were attached to all forms and questionnaires, referral forms for blood examinations, and aliquots. For aliquots, specific deep-freeze barcodes were used. Personal data and their associated individual code were safely stored in a separate file. Only physicians and coordinators of each population/area had access to these data, which were used only to send thank-you letters, medical reports, and to facilitate linkage to the public health care system when needed.
Before any field work began, all researchers and physicians signed a confidentiality form, and prophylactic vaccination against HBV was recommended.
(i) We confirm that all experimental protocols were approved by a named institutional and/or licensing committee.
(ii) We confirm that all methods were carried out in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations.
(iii) We confirm that informed consent was obtained from all participants.
Consent for publication
Availability of data and materials
The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are not publicly available as they contain sensitive personal health data but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
GT has received EU and national resources grants to support this study and grants unrelated to this study from Gilead Sciences Europe, UCL, ECDC, University of Bristol, EU, and National funds. GP has been advisor/lecturer for AbbVie, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Ipsen, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Roche, Takeda and has received research grants unrelated to this study from AbbVie, Gilead. VS has received grants unrelated to this study from Gilead Sciences and AbbVie and honoraria from Gilead Sciences, AbbVie and Janssen. MG has received honoraria by Merck & Co. The rest of the authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
The Hprolipsis survey was implemented under the Operational Program Human Resources Development and is cofunded by the EU (European Social Fund) and national resources.
Conceived and design the study: S.K., A.K., G.T. Analyzed the data: A.K., N.K. Wrote the article: S.K., A.K., G.T. Drafted manuscript with critical revision for important intellectual content undertaken: S.K., A.K., V.S., N.K., M.G., A.V., G.R., G.Ch., G.T., P.V.V., Y.A., G.P., G.T.
The members of the Hprolipsis Study Group Steering Committee are Giota Touloumi (chair), Agis Terzidis, Tzanetos Antypas, Christina Psara, Vana Sypsa, Magda Gavana, Apostolos Vantarakis, George Rachiotis, Theofilos Rozenberg, and Maria Kantzanou.
The participating centers are the Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Medical School, NKUA (Giota Touloumi, Vana Sypsa, Olga Anagnostou, Maria Kantzanou, Angelos Hatzakis, Nikos Pantazis, Argiro Karakosta, and Natasa Kalpourtzi); Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Alexis Benos and Magda Gavana); Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Medical Faculty, University of Thessaly, Larissa (Christos Hadjichristodoulou and George Rachiotis); Environmental Microbiology Unit, Department of Public Health, Medical School, University of Patras (Apostolos Vantarakis); MSc International Medicine—Health Crisis Management, Medical School, NKUA (Theofilos Rozenberg, Agis Terzidis, and Ioanna Petraki); Association of Greek Roma Mediators (Konstantinos Paiteris), Department of Gastroenterology Laiko General Hospital, Medical School, NKUA, Greece (George Papatheodoridis); Doctors of the World Greek delegation (Revekka Tzanetea and Tereza Mimikou); and PRAKSIS (Alexia Bableki and Ioanna Mavrogianni).