Hepatitis B prevalence in the Turkish population of Arnhem: implications for national screening policy?

Epidemiol Infect. 2012 Apr;140(4):724-30. doi: 10.1017/S0950268811001270. Epub 2011 Jul 11.


Despite the increased prevalence of hepatitis B and C in most migrant groups in The Netherlands, a national screening policy for these infections is not available. In order to estimate the prevalence of hepatitis B and C in the largest group of first-generation migrants (FGM) in The Netherlands, we conducted a screening project in the Turkish community of Arnhem. In a separate project we identified patients from the target population with chronic hepatitis B and C from hospital records (1990-2008). Educational meetings concerning hepatitis were organized, with all participants being offered a blood screening test. Participants were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) and antibodies to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV). In total 709 persons were tested, a complete dataset was available for 647 patients. We found that 3·0% and 0·4% of Turkish FGM aged >24 years in Arnhem had active hepatitis B, defined as HBsAg positive, and tested positive for anti-HCV, respectively. The hospital records revealed another 32 patients, 28 with hepatitis B and four with hepatitis C representing 0·7% for hepatitis B and 0·1% for hepatitis C in relation to the total number of Turkish FGM in Arnhem. We believe that active hepatitis screening of FGM from Turkey should be part of the national health policy as it will benefit the individual and public health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Determination by Skeleton
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Policy
  • Health Promotion
  • Hepacivirus
  • Hepatitis B / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Turkey / ethnology
  • Young Adult