Anti-hepatitis A virus seroprevalence among patients with chronic viral liver disease in Korea

Do Young Kim, Sang Hoon Ahn, Hyun Woong Lee, Seung Up Kim, Ja Kyung Kim, Yong Han Paik, Kwan Sik Lee, Kwang Hyub Han, Chae Yoon Chon

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18 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: It is generally recommended that patients with chronic viral hepatitis should be vaccinated against hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection. We intended to evaluate the prevalence of IgG anti-HAV according to age in patients chronically infected with hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus in Korea. METHODS: From June to October 2006, 303 patients (226 male, 77 female) with chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma were recruited (mean age 50.8±14.4 years; range 16-84). The sera were tested for antibodies to HAV, and overall and age-specific seroprevalence of anti-HAV was assessed. RESULTS: Hepatitis B virus infection was the etiology of liver diseases in 267 patients (88.1%), with hepatitis C virus infection in 36 (11.9%). The distribution of clinical diagnosis was chronic hepatitis in 86 patients (28.4%), liver cirrhosis in 36 (11.9%), and hepatocellular carcinoma in 181 (57.9%). The patients were categorized by decade of age and the distribution was as follows: nine patients (2.5%) in their teens, 23 (6.2%) in their 20s, 36 (12.4%) in their 30s, 78 (25.7%) in their 40s, 72 (24.1%) in their 50s, and 85 (29%) ≥61 years. The overall seroprevalence of anti-HAV was 87.8% (266/303), and no difference was observed in sex (86.7 vs. 90.9%, P=0.42). The seroprevalence in each age group was 22.2, 26.1, 72.2, 97.4, 100 and 98.8%, respectively, showing marked increase in those over 40 years of age (P<0.001). CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates that most Korean patients over 40 years of age with chronic liver disease have already been exposed to HAV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)923-926
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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