Annals of Internal Medicine
March 1, 2011; 154 (5)
Hepatitis B Virus in the United States: Infection, Exposure, and Immunity Rates in a Nationally Representative Survey
George N. Ioannou
Ann Intern Med March 1, 2011 154:319-328; doi:10.1059/0003-4819-154-5-201103010-00006
Current estimates of the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, exposure, and immunity are needed to assess the effectiveness of programs to prevent transmission. This study of 39 787 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999 to 2008) found that among persons aged 6 years or older, 0.27% (approximately 704 000) had chronic HBV infection and 4.6% (approximately 11 993 000) had been exposed to HBV. Infection and past exposure were uncommon among persons aged 6 to 19 years, and 68.6% of children aged 2 years had immunity. The investigator concludes that vaccination of high-risk adults should continue to be emphasized.