Early detection of chronic hepatitis B and risk factor assessment in Turkish migrants, Middle Limburg, Belgium

Ozgur M. Koc*, Cecile Kremer, Niel Hens, Rob Bielen, Dana Busschots, Pierre Van Damme, Geert Robaeys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)

Abstract

Background Turkey is an intermediate hepatitis B virus (HBV) endemic country. However, prevalence among Turkish migrants in Belgium is unknown, especially in those born in Belgium with a foreign-born parent, i.e. second-generation migrants (SGM). Aims To evaluate the prevalence of HBV infection and associated risk factors in Turkish first-generation migrants (FGM), i.e. foreign-born, and SGM. Methods Between September 2017 and May 2019, free outreach testing for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B core antibodies (anti-HBc), and antibodies against HBsAg was offered to Turkish migrants in Middle-Limburg, Belgium. Face-to-face questionnaire assessed HBV risk factors. HBsAg positive patients were referred and followed up. Turkish SGM were stratified into birth cohort born before and after 1987, since those born after 1987 should be covered by the universal infant vaccination program. Results A total of 1,081/1,113 (97.1%) Turkish did go for HBV testing. Twenty-six (2.4%) were HBsAg positive; 11/26 were unaware of their status and 10/11 were successfully referred. HBsAg prevalence was 3.0% in FGM and 1.5% in SGM,p= .070. Only one out of seven HBsAg positive SGM was born after 1987. In the multiple generalized estimating equations model, the most important risk factors for anti-HBc positivity were male gender (p= .021), older age (p<.001), FGM (p<.001), low educational level of the mother (p= .003), HBV infected mother (p= .008), HBV infected siblings (p= .002), HBV infected other family member (p= .004), gynaecological examination in Turkey or unsafe male circumcision (p= .032) and dental treatment in Turkey (p= .049). Conclusion Outreach testing was well-accepted and referral to specialist care was generally successful. National HBV screening should be implemented in the Turkish FGM population and might be considered in SGM not covered by primary prevention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0234740
Number of pages15
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume15
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • VIRUS INFECTION
  • HORIZONTAL TRANSMISSION
  • LIVER-CANCER
  • PREVALENCE
  • MODEL
  • VACCINATION
  • POPULATION
  • COVERAGE
  • CHILDREN
  • FLANDERS

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