Background and Aim: Australia has increasing immigration from hepatitis B virus (HBV) endemic countries of the Asia-Pacific region (APR). This study estimates immigration-related chronic HBV cases, chronic HBV prevalence, and HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from 1960 to 2005 and projects HBV-related HCC to 2025 in Australia among people born in the APR.
Methods: The populations of APR origin for the period 1960–2005 were derived from Australian census data. HBV prevalence from population-based serosurveys in the APR countries was used to estimate new chronic HBV cases (immigrant arrivals per year with chronic HBV). Age-specific incidence rates of HCC derived from a Taiwanese population-based study were used to estimate and project HBV-related HCC.
Results: Chronic HBV cases among APR-born population increased rapidly from the late 1970s reaching a peak of 4182 in 1990. Chronic HBV prevalence increased to >53 000 in 2005. Estimates of HBV-related HCC increased linearly from one in 1960 to 140 in 2005, with a projected increase to 250 in 2025. Universal HBV vaccination programs in countries of origin had limited impact on projected HBV-related HCC to 2025.
Conclusion: The burden of chronic HBV including HBV-related HCC among APR-born Australians has increased over the past three decades and is projected to increase further during the next two decades.