Chronic Hepatitis B Patients Die 14 Years Younger


blood test

A new study reported that people with Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) infections die at a younger age and at higher rates from all causes as well as liver-related causes.

This study, published in Clinical Infectious Disease found that CHB patients died at an average age of 59.8 years, which is 14 years younger than the general USA population.

Additionally, these researchers reported an increased prevalence of cirrhosis and other liver-related complications among CHB decedents. 

The researchers strongly support including hepatitis B elimination as a national public health goal.

Moreover, this study concluded healthcare providers can contribute to the elimination of hepatitis B by:

  • vaccinate unvaccinated high-risk adults for HBV,
  • screen high-risk adults for HBV,
  • Follow up with HBV patients to ensure they are receiving appropriate clinical care.

This study of 4,389 CHB patients compared to survivors, decedents were older, more likely to be White (40.6%), male (74.2%), and more likely to have cirrhosis (59.8%).

Whereas survivors in this study were more likely to be Asian (48.8%).

A hepatitis B infection can result in either an acute infection or a chronic infection, says the Hepatitis B Foundation.

When a person is first infected with the hepatitis B virus, it is called an "acute infection".

The CDC reports that the clinical manifestations of acute HBV infection are age dependent. Infants, young children (younger than 10 years of age), and immunosuppressed adults with newly acquired HBV infection are usually asymptomatic. Older children and adults are symptomatic in 30%–50% of infections. However, some adults are unable to get rid of the virus after six months and they are diagnosed as having a "chronic infection."

A simple blood test can diagnose an acute or chronic hepatitis B infection.

In the USA an estimated 25 percent of Americans who live with chronic hepatitis B were infected in early childhood.

Separately, a July 2018 study reported hepatitis B infections were a predictor of future pancreatic cancer by 24 percent.

This study ‘Association Between Hepatitis B Infection and Pancreatic Cancer: A Population-Based Analysis in the United States’ was published in the August edition of the Journal of Neuroendocrine Tumors and Pancreatic Diseases and Sciences.

In the USA, 3 single-antigen vaccines and 2 combination vaccines are currently licensed:

  • Single-antigen hepatitis B vaccines:
  • Combination vaccines:

Most pharmacies in the USA offer hepatitis vaccines.

To schedule a vaccination appointment at a local pharmacy, please click here.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides current HAV vaccine contract prices and general information, and vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.

This research and the researchers disclosed various industry relationships and financial support.