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Z Gastroenterol. 2016 Mar;54(3):231-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-106656. Epub 2016 Apr 4.

HBsAg and anti-HCV screening in elderly hospitalized patients of a German tertiary referral centre.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Dermatology, and Neurology, Clinic of Gastroenterology and Rheumatology, Section of Hepatology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.
Institute of Virology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.



Elderly patients are under-represented in hepatitis B and C screening approaches, but may be at increased risk for advanced liver disease. We therefore screened a hospitalized elderly population.


6011 admissions to the department of internal medicine and neurology within one year were screened for HBsAg and anti-HCV (Elecsys(®)-HBsAg and -anti-HCV). Positive anti-HCV results were confirmed with the INNO-LIA™ assay. HCV-RNA was analyzed by real-time PCR in the case of confirmed positive anti-HCV results, HBV-DNA in the confirmed HBsAg positive individuals.


Patient´s mean age (62.4 years) was 19 years above that of the average German population. The confirmed HBsAg prevalence was 0.6 %. 34 % (n = 12/35) of HBsAg positive cases were newly diagnosed, three of them presented with HBV-DNA levels > 2000 IU/mL. The confirmed anti-HCV prevalence was 0.9 %. 14 % (n = 8/56) of anti-HCV positive patients were previously undiagnosed. HCV-RNA was positive in three of them. In newly diagnosed individuals cirrhosis was present in 1/12 of the HBsAg and in 3/8 of the anti-HCV positive individuals. Compared to non-infected controls, the following risk factors were significantly more frequent in infected patients: (i) HBsAg: sexual exposure (20 % vs. 2 %), blood transfusion before 1992 (13 % vs. 6 %), referrals from nursing homes (10 % vs. 1 %). (ii) Anti-HCV: blood transfusion before 1992 (41 % vs. 6 %), IVDU (25 % vs. 0.5 %), organ transplantation (20 % vs. 5 %), hemodialysis (11 % vs. 3 %).


HBsAg and anti-HCV were underdiagnosed in a senescent population, however, only few cases presented with advanced liver disease. Referrals from nursing homes were at increased risk for HBV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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