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Am J Epidemiol. 1993 Oct 1;138(7):544-9.

Seroprevalence of hepatitis B viral markers in 52,000 Alaska Natives.

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Alaska Native Medical Center, Indian Health Service, Anchorage 99501.


As a part of a program to screen and immunize as many Alaska Natives as possible against hepatitis B infection, hepatitis B virus seromarkers were measured in 52,022 Alaska Natives between 1983 and 1987. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) was found in 1,603 persons (3.1%), and 7,155 persons (13.8%) exhibited hepatitis B virus seropositivity. While the prevalence of total seropositivity increased with increasing age (p < 0.001), the proportion of seropositive persons who were also positive for HBsAg was significantly higher in children under age 5 years than in persons over age 60 (p < 0.001). The total hepatitis B virus seropositivity was significantly higher in males than in females (p < 0.001), and a greater proportion of seropositive males than seropositive females had HBsAg (p < 0.001). The prevalence of HBsAg and total seropositivity differed significantly by geographic region (p < 0.001), ranging from 0.5% to 8.2% for presence of HBsAg and from 5.4% to 29% for total seropositivity. Of persons who were HBsAg positive, hepatitis B e antigen was found in 35.4%, and antibody to hepatitis e antigen was found in 49.6%. The prevalence of hepatitis B e antigen significantly decreased with age, while that of antibody to hepatitis e antigen significantly increased. The prevalence of hepatitis B virus seropositivity is high in Alaska Natives, and there are significant differences in both the prevalence of HBsAg and total hepatitis B virus seromarkers by age, sex, and geographic region.

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