Maternal knowledge of the risk of vertical transmission and offspring acquisition of hepatitis B

for the Hepatitis B Research Network (HBRN)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction and objectives: Universal vaccination at birth and in infancy is key to the elimination of chronic hepatitis B infection. We aimed to assess hepatitis B immune-prophylaxis and perinatal transmission knowledge, in a large and ethnically diverse cohort of previously pregnant North American women, chronically infected with hepatitis B. Materials and methods: The Hepatitis B Research Network (HBRN) is comprised of 28 Clinical Centers in the United States and Canada. Female cohort participants were administered a questionnaire to assess: (1) their assertion of knowledge regarding HBV prophylaxis at birth, testing, and diagnosis of hepatitis B in their children, and (2) the percentage of affirmative to negative responses for each of the HBV-related interventions her child may have received. The relationship between asserted knowledge, actions taken and maternal demographics were assessed. Results: A total of 351 mothers with 627 children born in or after 1992 were included. Median age at enrollment was 39.8 years. Mothers were mostly foreign-born with the largest percentage from Asia (73.4%) and Africa (11.7%). Of the 627 children, 94.5% had mothers who asserted that they knew whether their child had received HBIG or HBV vaccine at birth, for 88.8% of the children, their mothers indicated that they knew if their child was tested for HBV and for 84.5% of children, their mothers knew if the child was diagnosed with HBV infection. Among children whose mothers asserted knowledge of their HBV management, 95.3% were reported to have received HBIG or HBV vaccine, 83.4% of children were said to have been tested for HBV, and 4.8% of children were said to have been diagnosed with HBV. Younger maternal age was the only factor significantly associated with higher percentage of children for whom mothers reported knowledge of testing (p = 0.02) or diagnosis of HBV (p = 0.02). Conclusions: While high percentages of North American children had mothers asserting knowledge of HBV prophylaxis and testing, knowledge gaps remain, with mothers of 5.5–15.5% of children lacking knowledge of key components of the HBV prevention and diagnosis in the perinatal setting. Targeted education of HBsAg-positive mothers may aid in closing this gap and reducing vertical transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-395
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Hepatology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Fundación Clínica Médica Sur, A.C.


  • Chronic Hepatitis B knowledge
  • Hepatitis B immune-prophylaxis
  • Hepatitis B perinatal transmission
  • Hepatitis B prevention
  • Hepatitis B transmission
  • Hepatitis B vaccination
  • Hepatitis B vertical transmission
  • Pregnancy


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