Few studies have investigated hepatitis A virus (HAV) seroepidemiology in Koreans with chronic liver disease (CLD). This study compared the prevalence of IgG anti-HAV between the general healthy population and patients with hepatitis B virus-related CLD (HBV-CLD), with the aim of identifying predictors of HAV prior exposure.
In total, 1,319 patients were recruited between June 2008 and April 2010. All patients were tested for IgG anti-HAV, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and antibodies to hepatitis C virus. The patients were divided into the general healthy population group and the HBV-CLD group based on the presence of HBsAg. The seroprevalence of IgG anti-HAV was compared between these two groups.
The age-standardized seroprevalence rates of IgG anti-HAV in the general healthy population and patients with HBV-CLD were 52.5% and 49.1%, respectively. The age-stratified IgG anti-HAV seroprevalence rates for ages ≤19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and ≥60 years were 14.3%, 11.2%, 45.5%, 90.5%, 97.6% and 98.3%, respectively, in the general healthy population, and 0%, 9.8%, 46.3%, 91.1%, 97.7%, and 100% in the HBV-CLD group. In multivariate analysis, age (<30 vs. 30-59 years: OR=19.339, 95% CI=12.504-29.911, P<0.001; <30 vs. ≥60 years: OR=1060.5, 95% CI=142.233-7907.964, P<0.001) and advanced status of HBV-CLD (OR=19.180, 95% CI=4.550-80.856, P<0.001) were independent predictors of HAV prior exposure.
The seroprevalence of IgG anti-HAV did not differ significantly between the general-healthy-population and HBV-CLD groups. An HAV vaccination strategy might be warranted in people younger than 35 years, especially in patients with HBV-CLD.