Celiac Disease, Hepatitis B and Paul Harvey

Growing up, I heard a number of Paul Harvey broadcasts on the radio. Often there would be an important twist at the end and he would conclude with ‘and that’s the rest of the story.’

This came to mind after reading a recent article on celiac disease and hepatitis B infection:

N Habash et al. JPGN 2022; 74: 328-332. Celiac Disease: Risk of Hepatitis B Infection

Methods:

  • A cross-sectional study using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) database (2009–2014) 
  • And a retrospective analysis of HBV infection in two cohorts: Mayo Clinic cohort (1998–2021) and the Rochester Epidemiology Project cohort (REP; 2010–2020)

Key findings:

  • Based on NHANES database, the rate of HBV infection in the United States was  0.33%
  • Of 93 patients with CD, 46 (49%) were vaccinated for HBV and of the remaining 19,422 without CD, 10,228 (53%) were vaccinated
  • Twenty-two (48%) vaccinated patients with CD had HBV immunity and 4405 (43.07%) vaccinated patients without CD had HBV immunity
  •  In NHANES data, there were no cases of HBV infection in patients with CD. Among the 3568 patients with CD seen at Mayo Clinic and 3918 patients with CD in the REP database, only four (0.11%) at Mayo Clinic and nine (0.23%) of the REP patients had HBV infection.

This finding is probably applicable to other conditions in which HBV immunity is ascertained.

My take: In contrast to other small studies, this study showed that the “rate of HBV vaccination and immunity was similar in individuals with and without CD.” In addition, there was no increased risk of HBV infection detected in CD patients. Thus, testing for HBV is not necessary in patients with CD.

And that’s the rest of the story.

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