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South Med J. 2002 Aug;95(8):826-33.

Hepatitis A epidemic in the elderly.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 75390-9151, USA.



The purpose of this study was to characterize acute hepatitis A in patients more than 40 years old.


Retrospective chart reviews and physician questionnaires were used. Hospitalization, laboratory tests, comorbid conditions, complications, and mortality were assessed.


A total of 180 cases of acute hepatitis A occurred in patients more than age 40. Hospitalization rates increased from 3% for the group aged 40 to 49 to 12% in the group aged 50 to 69 and 42% in those > or = 70 years old. The mean peak total bilirubin value was higher in hospitalized patients than in nonhospitalized patients (12.4 mg/dL vs 7.7 mg/dL). Comorbid conditions included significant alcohol consumption (8%), diabetes (16.6%), cardiovascular disease (54%), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (21%). Complications included pancreatitis (4.1%), ascites (8.3%), prolonged cholestatic features (7.6%), and death (0.8%).


Hospitalization rates and rare complications associated with acute hepatitis A increase with age.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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