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

Updated: Jun 12, 2017
  • Author: Naga Swetha Samji, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
  • Print

Infection with HBV is defined by the presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Approximately 90-95% of neonates with acute HBV infection and 5% of adults with acute infection develop chronic HBV infection. In the remaining patients, the infection clears, and these patients develop a lifelong immunity against repeated infections.

Of the approximately 5% of the world’s population (ie, 350 million people) that is chronically infected with HBV, about 20% will eventually develop HBV-related cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), HBV is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide. [41]

More than 10% of people living in sub-Saharan Africa and in East Asia are infected with HBV. Maintenance of a high HBsAg carriage rate in these parts of the world is partially explained by the high prevalence of perinatal transmission and by the low rate of HBV clearance by neonates.

In the United States, about 250-350 patients die of HBV-associated fulminant hepatic failure (FHF) each year. A pool of approximately 1.25 million chronic HBV carriers exists in the United States. Of these patients, 4000 die of HBV-induced cirrhosis each year, and 1000 die of HBV-induced HCC.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!