Is age a key factor in developing the disease?
The risk of developing chronic hepatitis B infection is age-dependent; young children under the age of 6 who become infected with hepatitis B are most at risk of developing chronic infections.1The risk of developing acute hepatitis B is greatest in people who have multiple sex partners, men who have sex with men and sexual contact with a person known to have hepatitis B. It is not age-dependent. 2
Groups most at risk from hepatitis B include: 1
- People who frequently require blood or blood products, dialysis patients, recipients of solid-organ transplantations
- People interned in prisons
- People who inject drugs
- Household and sexual contacts of people with chronic HBV infection
- People with multiple sexual partners
- Healthcare workers and others who may be exposed to blood and blood products through their work
- Travellers who have not completed their hepatitis B vaccination series, who should be offered the vaccine before leaving for endemic areas
- WHO. Hepatitis B fact sheet. 2015. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs204/en/. Last accessed June 2015.
- Finelli L, Bell B. Chapter 4: Hepatitis B, VPD Surveillance Manual, 5th Edition, 2011. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/surv-manual/chpt04-hepb.pdf. Last accessed June 2015.