Serological and clinical outcomes of horizontally transmitted chronic hepatitis B infection in New Zealand Maori: results from a 28-year follow-up study

2015 Gut 64;6 (966-972)

BACKGROUND: Chronic hepatitis B infection is endemic in New Zealand and has high prevalence in New Zealand Maori. Previous longitudinal studies in populations with predominantly vertically acquired chronic hepatitis B have shown low spontaneous hepatitis B surface-antigen (HBsAg) seroclearance rates: 0.5-1.4% annually (mean age of clearance 48 years). We report the 28-year follow-up data on clinical and serological outcomes in indigenous New Zealand Maori with early horizontally acquired HBV. METHODS: In 1984, community seroprevalence study identified 572 HBsAg-positive individuals, followed for 28 years. Liver-related mortality and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence were compared between these 572 HBV carriers and 1140 HBsAg-negative matched case-controls. Surviving HBsAg-positive individuals have been followed up in 2012 with clinical assessment, blood tests and liver transient elastography. Rates of hepatitis B e-antigen (HBeAg) and HBsAg seroconversion were determined. RESULTS: After total 13 187.4 person-years follow-up, 15 HBsAg-positive patients have developed HCC compared with none of the HBsAg-negative controls (p40 years at entry, p

Pubmed : 25006011