Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is endemic in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The acquisition of infection occurs early in life. The availability of safe and efficacious vaccines has led to the feasibility of an effective control of HBV infection. This study compares the pattern of HBsAg positivity among selected groups of patients with similar groups in other regions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
This study is conducted to determine the prevalence of HBsAg positive subjects among selected groups of patients attending the main general hospital in the Hail region.
Subjects and Methods:
This retrospective study included 14029 subjects that were tested for HBsAg at King Khalid General Hospital, during the period from April 1994 to April 1996.
Results and Discussion:
The overall prevalence of HBsAg positive subjects was 3.5%. The prevalence for Saudis was about 3.2% for Saudis. Pakistanis had the highest prevalence of 11.8%. The prevalence was 3.02% for blood donors, and 2.1 % among pregnant women. No significant difference was found among different age groups. Hail region had a lower prevalence of HBsAg positive cases compared to that estimated by previous studies in the Kingdom, suggesting success in efforts applied by the Ministry of Health (110H) for prevention of Hepatitis B viral infection.
We can conclude that the prevalence of HBsAg positive subjects is declining in the Hail region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). This decline suggests the success of preventive efforts such as vaccination of newborns with the HBsAg vaccine. However, screening of pregnant women for HBsAg scents to be necessary.