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J Infect Dis. 1979 Oct;140(4):506-12.

A comparative study of hepatitis B viral markers in the family members of Asian and non-Asian patients with hepatitis B surface antigen-positive hepatocellular carcinoma and with chronic hepatitis B infection.


Serologic tests for evidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection were performed on family members of Asian and non-Asian patients with either hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive hepatocellular carcinoma or chronic HBV infection. Asian family members had a significant increase of HBsAg (34% higher) and of antibody to HBsAg or of antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (50% higher) when they were compared with non-Asian family members. In the Asian group, viral markers were detected more frequently in blood relatives than in nonblood relatives of the index cases. Within this group, birthplace did not influence the frequency of antigenemia, since HBsAg was positive in 55 (44%) of 125 Asians born in Asia and in 36 (38%) of the 94 Asians who were born in the United States. Also, HBsAg positivity frequently was seen in offspring from HBsAg-positive carrier mothers as well as from HBsAg-positive carrier fathers whose spouses were either HBsAg-negative or who had antibody. The e antigen was found more often in individuals 30 years of age or younger than in older individuals. This study indicates that intrafamilial spread of HBsAg in Asian families plays an important role in the perpetuation of HBV infection and in the eventual development of chronic liver disease in this ethnic group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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