Background: After decades of decline, US acute hepatitis B incidence flattened since 2011. In persons aged ≥40 years and in jurisdictions affected by the opioid crisis, there is an increase in new cases. Data suggest new infections are occurring among US-born persons.
Methods: We used National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data during 2001-2018 to examine changes in total antibody to hepatitis B virus core antigen (anti-HBc) prevalence in US-born persons. During 2013-2018, the distribution of characteristics was examined.
Results: During 2001-2006, 2007-2012, and 2013-2018, anti-HBc prevalence was 3.5%, 2.5%, and 2.6% among US-born persons, respectively. This corresponded to 5.7 (range, 4.8-6.6) million US-born persons with resolved or current HBV infection during 2013-2018, including 344 600 persons aged 6-29 years. The largest increase and highest prevalence was among persons who reported injection drug use (IDU), which increased from 35.3% during 2001-2006 to 58.4% during 2013-2018 (P = .07).
Conclusions: Anti-HBc prevalence among US-born persons remained flat during the most recent period, coinciding with a doubling of prevalence among persons reporting IDU. These data are consistent with acute hepatitis B surveillance trends, showing increasing incidence in subpopulations where prevention could be strengthened.Anti-HBc prevalence among US-born persons decreased from 2001-2006 to 2007-2012 and remained flat during 2013-2018, coinciding with a near doubling of prevalence among US-born persons reporting a history of injection drug use.
Keywords: US born; hepatitis B core antibody; hepatitis B virus; injection drug use; prevalence.
Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2021.