The influence of ethnicity on disease outcome in patients with chronic hepatitis B infection

Ozgur M. Koc*, Geert Robaeys, Beytullah Yildirim, Dirk Posthouwer, Niel Hens, Ger H. Koek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)


Since the cultural diversity in Western Europe is growing, this study assessed whether foreign-born chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients have more cirrhosis than Dutch- or Belgian-born patients, with a main focus on the Turkish population. Baseline characteristics (eg, socioeconomic status [SES]), biological characteristics, and disease outcome (eg, cirrhosis) were collected for all patients. Between December 2009 and January 2015, 269 CHB patients participated from the outpatient departments of three hospitals in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Turkey. Out of the 269 CHB patients, 210 were foreign-born and 59 were Dutch- or Belgian-born. Compared with Dutch- or Belgian-born patients, foreign-born patients had a higher prevalence of low SES (58% vs 31%; P = 0.001) and cirrhosis (27% vs 10%; P = 0.007). Among the Turkish population, there were no significant differences regarding the prevalence of low SES (73% vs 61%; P = 0.170), alcohol abuse (1% vs 5%; P = 0.120), anti-hepatitis C virus positivity (4% vs 0%; P = 0.344), anti-hepatitis D virus positivity (1% vs 6%; P = 0.297), and cirrhosis (37% vs 27%; P = 0.262) between patients (n = 102) living in Turkey (local) and Turkish CHB (n = 38) patients living in the Netherlands or Belgium (immigrant). In multivariate analysis, low SES (odds ratio, 5.7; 95% confidence interval, 2.3-14.5; P <0.001) was associated with cirrhosis. In this study, foreign-born CHB patients were associated with more advanced HBV-related liver disease with 27% having cirrhosis. However, ethnicity was not associated with cirrhosis when SES was included in the multivariate analysis. The similar prevalence of cirrhosis in local Turkish compared to immigrant Turkish CHB patients is novel and warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-629
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • cirrhosis
  • disease outcome
  • ethnicity
  • hepatitis B
  • socioeconomic status
  • Turkish

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