Objective: To estimate total numbers of undiagnosed carriers of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) in Japan.
Methods: Area- and age-specific prevalence of HCV as well as HBV was determined in the first-time blood donors [20-39 years (n = 2,429,364)] and examinees of periodical health check-ups [40-74 years (6,204,968 for HCV and 6,228,967 for HBV)] in Japan. Prevalence in adolescents [5-19 years (79,256 for HCV and 68,792 for HBV)] was determined in a single prefecture, and that of HCV in the elderly (≥ 75 years) was estimated by the exponential model. HBV infection was determined by the detection of hepatitis B surface antigen, and HCV infection by either the algorithm or assuming persistent infection in 70% of the individuals with antibody to HCV.
Results: Of the total population of 127,285,653 in 2005, 807,903 (95% CI 679,886-974,292) were estimated to be infected with HCV at a carrier rate of 0.63%, and 903,145 (837,189-969,572) with HBV at that of 0.71%.
Conclusion: Accurate estimation of undiagnosed HCV and HBV carriers in the general population would help to predict the future burden of liver disease, and take appropriate measures for improving healthcare.
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.