Analysis of hepatitis B and C virus infections amongst members of the Dental National Health Insurance Society in the Oita Prefecture
- Yumiko Nagao
- Tetsuya Kimura
- Hiromichi Nagao
Affiliations: Department of Public Health, Graduate School of Medicine, Juntendo University, Bunkyo‑ku, Tokyo 113‑8421, Japan, Oita Dental Association, Oujishinmachi, Oita 870‑0819, Japan
- Published online on: December 9, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/br.2020.1399
Copyright: © Nagao
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Commons Attribution License.
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In Japan, ~3 million individuals are estimated to be infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV). The rates of hepatitis virus infection amongst dentists is higher than that amongst other healthcare workers due to increased exposure to both saliva and blood. However, an efficient method for the testing of hepatitis virus infections amongst dentists remains to be established. The aim of the present study was to examine the rate of hepatitis virus infection amongst dental healthcare workers (DHWs) by introducing a health checkup that included screening for HBV and HCV infections. A total of 1,834 members of the Dental National Health Insurance Society in the Oita Prefecture, consisting of dentists and other employees, were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antibodies to HBsAg (anti‑HBs) and antibodies to HCV (anti‑HCV) during routine medical checkups. Anonymized data, including the age, sex, occupation (dentist or employee), and presence of a hepatitis virus marker, was collected and analyzed. The positive rates of HBsAg, anti‑HBs and anti‑HCV in the study sample were 0.6, 44.1 and 0.5%, respectively; the positive rates were higher amongst dentists than the employees. Furthermore, the positive rates of HBsAg and anti‑HCV increased with age and were higher in subjects aged 50‑79 (1.7‑2.2%). The positive rate of presence of anti‑HBs was significantly higher in the dentists compared with employees (56.4 vs. 39.6%; respectively; P<0.0001). The three factors associated with anti‑HB positivity were HBsAg negativity, occupation (dentist) and age (20‑29 years) with adjusted odds ratios of 8.29, 2.27 and 1.59, respectively (P<0.05). These results suggest that introducing a hepatitis virus examination during routine health checkups of DHWs may prove useful in identifying infected individuals.