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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1987;20(1): 129-136.
Hepatitis B Virus Infection Rate of Medical School Students in Taegu.
Jung Han Park, Tae Hyum Youn, Byung Yeol Chun, Jung Hup Song
To determine the hepatitis B virus infection rate of medical school students and appropriate time for immunization with hepatitis B vaccine, 385 students in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades of Medical School of Kyungpook National University who had not been vaccinated and volunteered to participate in this study were tested for HBsAg, anti-HBs and anti-HBc with radioimmunoassay method (Abbortt Lab. kit). A questionnaire was administered to ask the history of transfusion, acupuncture and surgery. HBsAg positive students were retested 16 months after the initial test. Overall HBsAg positive rate was 6.8% and the age adjusted rate for male (7.2%) was higher than that for female (4.9%). Anti-HBs positive rate was 35.8% (36.1% for male, 37.9% for male) and anti-HBc positive rate was 45.5% (46.5% for male, 44.7% for femaleP. Overall hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection rats was 49.1% and the infection rate for male (50.3%) was slightly higher than that for female (46.5%). HBsAg positive rate and infection rate were increased as the grade increased but it was attributed to the age distribution of the students. HBsAg positive rate for 20 years old students was 1.7%; 21 years, 6.6%; 22 years, 6.1%; 23 years, 12.2%; and 24 years and older, 6.4%. HBV infection rate showed an increasing trend as age increased; 45.8% for 20 years, 41.5% for 21 years, 49.5% for 22 years, 55.5% for 23 years and 59.6% for 24 years and older. The age differences in HBsAg positive rates and HBV infection rates did not reach the statistical significance level of 0.05. However, these findings and similar age differences in HBsAg positive rates and HBV infection rates observed in other study suggest that there is a significant age differences. Study of the same age group in other schools and different social classes is warranted to confirm the age difference. Clarification of the reason for such differences would provide a clue to identify the major route of HBV transmission in this age group. Among 26 HBsAg positive students in the initial test, only one student was active hepatitis patient. Out of 24 students who had follow-up test after 16 months 22 students were positive for HBsAg and two students became HBsAg negative and anti-HBs positive. It is obvious that nearly one-half of the medical school students were infected with HBV before 20 years of age and the HBV infection occurs in medical school. Thus, it is recommended to test all the students for HBV infection soon after the admission to the medical school and immunize all the susceptible students with hepatitis B vaccine and give booster as they start to practice at a hospital.
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