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Epidemiological study on hepatitis B virus infection among five ethnic groups in Pingtung County, Taiwan


, : Epidemiological study on hepatitis B virus infection among five ethnic groups in Pingtung County, Taiwan. Taiwan Yi Xue Hui Za Zhi. Journal of the Formosan Medical Association 86(5): 497-504

To determine the prevalence of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection among 5 ethnic groups in Pingtung County, we randomly collected 600 serum samples from each of 5 ethnic groups: Taiwanese, Hakka, Mainlanders, Paiwanese, and Rukaiese. Their ages ranged from 5 to 29 years. All sera were tested for HBsAg, anti-HBs and anti-HBc by radioimmunoassay (RIA). When HBsAg was positive, HBeAg was also tested. The results showed that 42.5% of the sera examined were negative for HBsAg but positive for both anti-HBs and anti-HBc, and that 22.0% were negative for both HBsAg and anti-HBs but positive for anti-HBc. Only 89 of the 600 serum samples showed negative results for HBV markers, which indicated that 511 (85.2%) of the general population in Pingtung County had already been infected by HBV before age 29. The HBsAg carrier rates among Rukaiese, Paiwanese, Hakka, Taiwanese, Mainlanders were 27.5%, 26.7%, 22.5%, 12.5%, 11.7%, respectively; while the prevalence rates of HBV infections among the above five groups were 93.3%, 91.7%, 82.5%, 82.5%, 75.8%, respectively. Differences among these ethnic groups were statistically significant. The overall HBV carrier rate was 20.2%. We conclude that people living in Pingtung County were more frequently infected with HBV during their young age compared to inhabitants in north Taiwan.

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Accession: 005375641

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