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Scand J Infect Dis. 2003;35(4):260-4.

Twenty-year survey of the epidemiology of hepatitis B in Denmark: effect of immigration.

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  • 1Clinical Research Unit, University Hospital (Hvidovre Hospital), Copenhagen, Denmark.


Implementation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination is being considered in Denmark. Therefore, a 20 y survey on the epidemiology of HBV infection was performed. All notified cases of acute HBV infection in Denmark from 1982 to 2002 were reviewed retrospectively and all available data from 1970 to 2001 on the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in different groups of the Danish population were studied. The notified annual incidence of acute HBV infection has declined from more than 200 cases to fewer than 50 cases in 2001. In the indigenous population there has been a similar decline in prevalence of HBsAg carriers, from 0.15 to 0.03%, but owing to immigration of new HBsAg carriers from developing countries the overall number of carriers has not changed. The small effect of immigration on the incidence of acute HBV infections as well as the decreasing prevalence of HBsAg carriers among Danes should be taken into account when planning new vaccination strategies in Denmark.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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