January 06, 2016
1 min read

HBV not more prevalent among Hispanics vs. general US population

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Analysis of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos determined that hepatitis B virus infection is not more prevalent among Hispanic and Latino adults in the U.S. compared with the general population.

“We report the first large-scale population-based data on HBV infection among U.S. Hispanic/Latino adults by place of birth,” Robert C. Kaplan, PhD, of the department of epidemiology and population health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, and colleagues wrote.

To determine HBV prevalence of serum HBV core antibody (anti-HBc), active serum HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibody against HBV surface antigen (anti-HBs) among Hispanics and Latinos in the U.S., the researchers analyzed data of 11,999 adults from four urban communities in New York, Illinois, Florida and California.

“Without accurate and detailed information on the prevalence of HBV infection, it is unclear whether the current guidelines for prevention and control of HBV infection apply to members of this heterogeneous population or meet their specific needs,” the researchers wrote.

Various analyses showed that the overall prevalence was 22.3% for anti-HBs, 7.7% for anti-HBc and 0.29% for HBsAg (95% CI, 0.19-0.43). HBsAg-positivity varied depending on country of birth. Men were more likely to have HBV compared with women, but only slightly (0.43% vs. 0.16%; P = .03). Overall anti-HBc was higher among men (10%) compared with women (6.4%; P < .0001). Hispanic adults who grew up in the Dominican Republic had the highest prevalence of anti-HBc (20.3% in women vs. 29.7% in men) and HBsAg (0.95%).

More women had anti-HBs (25%) compared with men (21%; 95% CI, 20-22.6). The researchers found that prevalence of vaccine-induced immunity increased with each birth decade and was highest among those born in or after 1990.

“The overall age-standardized prevalence of active HBV infection in Hispanic/Latino adults was no different to the general U.S. population estimate … ,” the researchers concluded. “These data do not support targeting HBV screening to U.S. Hispanic/Latino adults based upon background.” – by Melinda Stevens

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.