Chronic hepatitis B and C infections in the Netherlands: estimated prevalence in risk groups and the general population

J. Koopsen, J. E. van Steenbergen, J. H. Richardus, M. Prins, E. L. M. Op de Coul, E. A. Croes, J. Heil, F. R. Zuure, I. K. Veldhuijzen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Web of Science)


Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are usually asymptomatic for decades, thus targeted screening can prevent liver disease by timely diagnosis and linkage to care. More robust estimates of chronic HBV and HCV infections in the general population and risk groups are needed. Using a modified workbook method, the total number of ever chronically infected individuals in the Netherlands in 2016 was determined using population size and prevalence estimates from studies in the general and high-risk population. The estimated 2016 chronic HBV infection prevalence is 0.34% (low 0.22%, high 0.47%), corresponding to approximately 49 000 (low 31 000, high 66 000) HBV-infected individuals aged 15 years and older. The estimated ever-chronic HCV infection prevalence is 0.16% (low 0.06%, high 0.27%), corresponding to approximately 23 000 (low 8000, high 38 000) everchronic HCV-infected individuals. The prevalence of chronic HBV and HCV infections in the Netherlands is low. First-generation migrants account for most infections with 81% and 60% of chronic HBV and HCV infections, respectively. However, about one-fifth of HCV infections is found in the general population at low risk. This method can serve as an example for countries in need of more accurate prevalence estimates, to help the design and evaluation of prevention and control policies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere147
Number of pages8
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • hepatitis B virus
  • hepatitis C virus
  • migrants
  • prevalence

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