The distribution of hepatitis B virus exposure and infection in a population-based sample of U.S. Hispanic adults

Molly Jung, Mark H. Kuniholm, Gloria Y F Ho, Scott Cotler, Howard D. Strickler, Bharat Thyagarajan, Marston Youngblood, Robert C. Kaplan, Julia del Amo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Little is known regarding the prevalence and distribution of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in U.S. Hispanics/Latinos. We sought to determine the prevalence of HBV exposure (serum HBV core antibody; anti-HBc), active HBV infection (serum HBV surface antigen; HBsAg), and vaccine-induced HBV immunity (antibody against HBV surface antigen; anti-HBs) in U.S. Hispanics/Latinos and consider how these data inform clinical screening recommendations. Our analysis included 11,999 women and men of the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), a population-based, household survey in four urban communities (Bronx, NY; Miami, FL; Chicago, IL; and San Diego, CA) of U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized self-identifying Hispanic/Latino adults ages 18-74. Vaccine-induced immunity was defined as detection of anti-HBs, but not anti-HBc. However, if anti-HBc were present, it was considered evidence of exposure to HBV, with detection of HBsAg used to distinguish those with active HBV infection. Mean age was 45.7 years, and 7,153 were women. Vaccine-induced immunity was greatest among those ages 18-29 years (60.2% in women, 54% in men) and decreased with increasing age, regardless of country of birth. The prevalence of active HBV infection was 0.29% (95% confidence interval: 0.19-0.43), but varied by country of birth. Those born in the Dominican Republic had the highest prevalence of HBV exposure (20.3% in women, 29.7% in men) and active HBV infection (0.95%). Conclusions: The overall age-standardized prevalence of active HBV infection in Hispanic/Latino adults (0.29%) was no different from the general U.S. population estimate (0.27%) and did not exceed 2%, regardless of country of birth. These data do not support targeting HBV screening to US Hispanic/Latino adults based upon background.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-452
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos was carried out as a collaborative study supported by contracts from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to the University of North Carolina (N01-HC65233), University of Miami (N01-HC65234), Albert Einstein College of Medicine (N01-HC65235), Northwestern University (N01-HC65236), and San Diego State University (N01-HC65237). The following Institutes/Centers/Offices contribute to the HCHS/SOL through a transfer of funds to the NHLBI: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities; National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders; National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; and National Institutes of Health Institution-Office of Dietary Supplements. Dr. de Amo was supported by grant BA14CIII/00003.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.


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