Lessons about HBV in NYC

Hepatitis B infection remains a leading cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer worldwide.  In the U.S., the prevalence is estimated at 0.3-0.5% of the population.  An updated look at the epidemiology comes from NYC (MMWR 2012; 61: 6-9).  Investigators randomly selected 180 HBV cases (2008-2010) and investigated them.

Findings/take-home points:

  • Two-thirds were Asian.
  • In 70%, the clinician did not know any of patient risk factors
  • In 62%, the clinician did not know hepatitis A vaccination status (despite recommendations)
  • Main reasons for testing: 27% birth country prevalence, 12% elevated liver tests, 2% hepatitis signs/symptoms
  • Only 75% received counseling regarding transmission

As a result of this investigation, the department of health initiated multiple changes:

  • Clinicians were contacted regarding HAV vaccinations
  • Booklet for patients developed: How to Tell Others You Have Chronic Hepatits B
  • Patient education booklet developed: Hepatitis B: the Facts

These booklets (in five languages) can be ordered in bulk and free of charge within NYC and also online at

Hepatitis B The Facts, Eng.qxp:For Internet, 5.5×8.5 – NYC.gov

Hep B Guide to Telling 7 11_Hep B Chronic – NYC.gov

Other useful links:


Unrelated link -but worth a look (thanks to Larry Saripkin for showing me this useful training video):

“dont go ninjin nobody that dont need ninjin” Kung Fu Hillbilly – Training Video – YouTube