Vietnamese community screening for hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus

Authors


Zobair M. Younossi, MD, MPH, Center for Liver Diseases, Inova Fairfax Hospital, 3300 Gallows Road, Falls Church, 22042 VA, USA.
E-mail: zobair.younossi@inova.org

Abstract

Summary.  Asian Americans represent an important cohort at high risk for viral hepatitis. To determine the prevalence of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and HBV vaccination in a Vietnamese community, a total of 322 Vietnamese subjects from a local doctor’s office and annual Vietnamese Health Fair were included in this study. Demographic and clinical data were collected. 2.2% of the screened cohort tested positive for anti-HCV and 9.3% tested positive for HBsAg. Unlike HBV-positive subjects, HCV-positive subjects had significantly higher liver enzymes (P = 0.0045 and P = 0.0332, respectively). The HBV-positive group was more likely to report jaundice (P = 0.0138) and a family history of HBV (P = 0.0115) compared to HBV-negative subjects. Forty-eight patients (15.5%) reported a family history of liver disease (HBV, HCV, HCC, cirrhosis, other). Of this 48, 68.8% reported no personal history of HBV vaccination and 77.1% reported no family history of vaccination for HBV. Among the 183 subjects without a family history of liver disease, 156 (85.2%) reported no personal history of vaccination and 168 (91.8%) reported no family history of vaccination. HBV vaccination rates in those reporting a family history of liver disease were significantly higher (P = 0.020). There was a high prevalence of HBV infection in this community screening. Nevertheless, the rate for HBV vaccination was low. The low prevalence of abnormal liver enzymes in HBV-positive subjects emphasizes the need for screening to be triggered by risk factors and not by abnormal liver enzymes.

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