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Am J Epidemiol. 1983 Oct;118(4):543-9.

Prevalence of hepatitis B in selected Alaskan Eskimo villages.


Sera collected in 1973-1975 from 3053 residents of 12 selected Alaskan Eskimo villages were tested for evidence of hepatitis B virus infection. Overall, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) was found in 6.4% of those tested. Evidence of hepatitis B infection (positive for HBsAg or antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs] varied considerably by village, from 4.6% to 69.9%, and increased with advancing age. The proportion with HBsAg was significantly higher in those under the age of 13 years, and the male/female ratio varied from 0.9 to 1.5 to 1.5 in the prepubertal, postpubertal-premenopausal, and postmenopausal age groups, respectively. The prevalence of hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) in HBsAg-positive persons decreased with advancing age, and conversely, the prevalence of antibody to hepatitis B e antigen (anti-HBe) increased with age. Hepatitis B infection was found to be sporadically distributed, with great village-to-village variation and further variation by household within most villages. The high HBsAg and HBeAg seropositivity observed in children suggests that children are both more recently infected with hepatitis B and are more involved in hepatitis B transmission in these villages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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