What is the global prevalence of hepatitis B (HBV) (Hep B) infection?

Updated: Jun 08, 2021
  • Author: Nikolaos T Pyrsopoulos, MD, PhD, MBA, FACP, AGAF; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Globally, chronic HBV infection affects 350-400 million people, [34] with disease prevalence varying among geographic regions, from 1-20%. A higher rate exists, for example, among Alaskan Eskimos, Asian Pacific islanders, Australian aborigines, and populations from the Indian subcontinent, sub-Saharan Africa, and Central Asia. In some locations, such as Vietnam, the rate is as high as 30%. Such variation is related to differences in the mode of transmission, including iatrogenic transmission, and the patient's age at infection.

The lifetime risk of HBV infection is less than 20% in low prevalence areas (< 2%; generally, 0.1-2%), [8] and sexual transmission and percutaneous transmission during adulthood are the main modes through which it spreads. About 12% of HBV-infected individuals live in low-prevalence areas, which include the United States, Canada, western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. [8]

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