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HOME > Korean J Prev Med > Volume 21(1); 1988 > Article
Original Article Seroepidemiology of Hepatitis B virus Infection in Healthy Korean Adults in Seoul.
Keun Young Yoo, Byung Joo Park, Yoon Ok Ahn
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 1988;21(1):89-98
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While there have been not a few reports on the seroepidemiological characteristics of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Korea, most of them, however, have had several limitations; operational definition of HBV infection, validity of detection methods of HBV serologic markers, size of the study population, and confirmation of the vaccination history against HBV, etc. In order to avoid such limitations, authors randomly selected 1,495 healthy adults among the 217,511 insured (target population) of Korean Medical Insurance Corporation, living in seoul, and tested HBV(HBsAg, anti-HBs and anti-HBc) of all the subjects were tested, 392(26.2%) of interview failure cases 742 nonvaccinee were excluded from the actual population. Finally, the serologic markers tested of 742 nonvaccinee (study population) only were analyzed for the seroepidemiologic observation of the natural infection of HBV. The seroepidemiological characteristics of HBV infection in Korea were as follows ; 1 Point prevalence of HBs antigenemia was 11.7(9.1-14.3)% in male, which was slightly higher than that of female, 9.5(3.7-15.3)%. This level was one of the highest among those of Asian-Pacific countries. Decreasing tendency of HBsAg prevalence after the age of 50 was observed, which seems to be due to selective attrition of HBV chronic carriers among the healthy adults and/or to the limited-lasting duration of the HBs antigenemia, in part. 2. Point prevalence of anti-HBc(78.8% in male, 50.9% in female) was higher than that of anti-HBs(65.2% in male, 46.6% in female), respectively. And both of them were higher in male than in female. Increasing tendency of the prevalence of both antibodies was observed by age, which seems to be largely due to recurrent infection in adults and to some cumulative effect, in part, of their relatively longer-lasting duration. 3. The level of HBV infection defined by positive for at least one of the 3 serologic markers of HBV by RIA method was 84.7(81.8-87.6)% in male and 61.2(51.9-70.5)% in female, which was also one of the highest among those of Asian-Pacific countries. The proportion of susceptible population to HBV infection among healthy adults was 15.3% in male and 38.8% in female. 4. The relative frequency of current or past infection and chronic carrier among HBV infected person was estimated. The currently or past infected was estimated 75.7% in male and 71.8% in female, and chronic carrier state, 13.8% in male and 14.1% in female. The analysis of the geometric mean of the antibody titer in anti-HBs positive sera indicated also to be compatible with the above findings, suggesting that active, even though inapparent, infection of HBV occur so frequently among healthy adults in Korea.

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