2010-07-29Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1097/INF.0b013e3181ef22d5
Hepatitis B virus infections among children and adolescents in Germany: Migration background as a risk factor in a low seroprevalence population
Background: Data on hepatitis B (HB) infection prevalence among children and adolescents in Germany are scarce. We estimated seroprevalence of HB infection and assessed determinants for HB infection among children and adolescents in Germany from a representative population sample. Methods: From 2003 to 2006, the Robert Koch Institute conducted a nationwide cross-sectional Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents in Germany. Data on age, gender, migration background, and socioeconomic status were collected through questionnaires. A child was defined as having a 2-sided migration background if both parents, or the child and 1 parent, immigrated, and a 1-sided migration background if only 1 parent immigrated. Among children with migration background, a first-generation migrant was defined as born outside Germany; a second-generation migrant was born in Germany. Information on HB vaccination status was obtained from vaccination cards. Serologic samples from participants were tested for anti-hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) and hepatitis B surface antigen. We performed weighted univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses to assess determinants for HB infection. Results: Of 13,065 participants (3–17 years), 0.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.4–0.7) were anti-HBc positive, among whom 38.7% (95% CI, 20.0–57.5) were hepatitis B surface antigen positive. Two-sided migration background and being a first- or second-generation migrant were significantly associated with anti-HBc positivity (odds ratio [OR]: 8.3, 95% CI: 4.0–17.4; OR: 11.0, 95% CI: 3.5–35.0; OR: 3.0, 95% CI: 1.2–7.3). No further determinants were found. Conclusions: HB infection is rare among children and adolescents in Germany. First- and second-generation migrant children can be considered to be at risk for HB infection, 2-sided migration background or being a first-generation migrant carried the greatest risk. Targeted testing for HB infection and early HB vaccination should be provided to immigrants' children.
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