The seroprevalence of hepatitis E virus infection in the US has decreased more than threefold since the 1990s, according to a study that examined recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey.
Researchers, including Ivo Ditah, MD, MPhil, of the Mayo Clinic, analyzed data collected between 1988 and 1994 and found a seroprevalence for hepatitis E virus infection of 21%. Data was then collected and analyzed from the NHANES database between 2009 and 2010 to determine trends in HEV seroprevalence. The final analysis included data from 8,814 survey participants (median age, 37 years; 51.2% female).
The seroprevalence of HEV from 2009 and 2010 was 6% (95% CI, 5.1%-6.9%), a 3.5-fold decline, researchers determined. Approximately 0.5% of participants with HEV were positive for immunoglobulin M, indicating evidence of recent exposure. Univariate analysis showed increasing age (P<.001), non-Hispanic black race (P=.006), consuming meat more at least 10 times monthly (P=.007) and birth outside of the US (P=.003) were associated with increasing HEV seroprevalence. When adjusted by multivariate analysis, however, only increasing age remained a predictive factor (P<.001) for HEV seroprevalence.
“The most important finding of this detailed national survey is a greater than 70% lower seroprevalence of HEV infection in the civilian, noninstitutional US population in 2010, compared to that reported between 1988 and 1994,” the researchers wrote.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.