Viral Hepatitis in the Elderly

Andres F Carrion MD; Paul Martin MD; FACG


Am J Gastroenterol. 2012;107(5):691-697. 

In This Article


Elderly adults represent a rapidly growing population with distinct epidemiological, pathological, and therapeutic characteristics of multiple disease processes, including viral hepatitis A, B, C, and E (Table 2). This population has a greater risk of complications of acute and chronic liver disease as well as higher risk of mortality because of high prevalence of co-morbid conditions. Therapeutic regimens for chronic hepatitis B and C have not been studied exclusively in this age group and their true effectiveness and tolerance in elderly adults warrants further research. Indications for immunization against hepatitis A and B in elderly individuals need to be revised and broadened as many of them are at increased risk for infection and, even though elderly adults have an attenuated response to immunization, this remains an effective preventive measure.


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