Hepatitis B prevalence and treatment needs among Tibetan refugees residing in India

Kathleen Stevens, Trinley Palmo, Tsering Wangchuk, Sunil Solomon, Kerry Dierberg, Christopher Hoffmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Untreated chronic hepatitis B can lead to liver failure and/or liver cancer. These complications can be avoided through prevention with vaccination or treatment of disease. To inform health policy for the Tibetan community in India, we conducted study of hepatitis B prevalence and treatment needs. We conducted a cross-sectional study over 3 months of 2013. Households were randomly selected for participation via a satellite map; one boarding school and one residential monastery were also included. Participants were asked questions and a whole blood sample was collected for HBsAg assay. Participants with a positive HBsAg result were tested for hepatitis B e antigen, ALT, and AST. Participants with a negative HBsAg result were tested for anti-hepatitis B core antibodies. We recruited 2,769 participants; of which 247 (8.9%) were positive for HBsAg. Participants more likely to have a positive HBsAg result were those born in Tibet (12.4%) and aged 30-59 years old. Of those with a positive HBsAg result, 60.7% were positive for hepatitis B e antigen 7% of whom fit into a likely treatment-needed category; the others fit into management categories requiring repeat ALT testing with or without liver fibrosis assessment. Among participants negative for HBsAg, 52.9% from household sampling had anti-HBc antibodies. We identified a high endemicity of chronic hepatitis B in a Tibetan community in India. Resource appropriate approaches are needed for managing chronic hepatitis B in settings such as this one.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2016

Fingerprint

Refugees
Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
Hepatitis B
India
Chronic Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B e Antigens
Therapeutics
Tibet
Hepatitis B Antibodies
Liver Failure
Liver Neoplasms
Health Policy
Liver Cirrhosis
Anti-Idiotypic Antibodies
Vaccination
Cross-Sectional Studies

Keywords

  • Chronic hepatitis B
  • Epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Refugee
  • Treatment
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Hepatitis B prevalence and treatment needs among Tibetan refugees residing in India. / Stevens, Kathleen; Palmo, Trinley; Wangchuk, Tsering; Solomon, Sunil; Dierberg, Kerry; Hoffmann, Christopher.

In: Journal of Medical Virology, 2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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