What are the risk factors for hepatitis B (HBV) (Hep B) infection in the US?

Updated: Jun 08, 2021
  • Author: Nikolaos T Pyrsopoulos, MD, PhD, MBA, FACP, AGAF; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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HBV is blamed for at least 5000 US deaths annually. The prevalence is low in persons younger than 12 years born in the United States, with the subsequent increase being associated with the initiation of sexual contact (the major mode of transmission in adults, along with intravenous drug abuse [IVDA]). It is also associated with the occurrence of first intercourse at an early age. Additional risk factors, as identified in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III, are as follows:

  • Non-Hispanic black ethnicity

  • Cocaine use

  • High number of sexual partners

  • Divorced or separated marital status

  • Foreign birth

  • Low educational level

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