Prevalence of Hepatitis B in IBD Patients Similar to General Population, Study Finds

Prevalence of Hepatitis B in IBD Patients Similar to General Population, Study Finds
Researchers in Hong Kong found that the prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) was similar to that of the general population. The study, “Prevalence of hepatitis B and clinical outcomes in inflammatory bowel disease patients in a viral-endemic region,” was published in the journal BMC Gastroenterology. The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasing in Asia. Treatment with immunosuppressive agents is the mainstay of IBD therapy, but this treatment can be associated with complications such as the reactivation of the hepatitis B virus (HBV). International guidelines recommend that all patients with IBD that have a positive hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) result should receive anti-viral treatment before starting on immunosuppressive agents. However, the risk of HBV reactivation seems to be linked to the type and magnitude of immunosuppression. Recent guidelines from the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) recommend that only patients at moderate to high risk should have anti-viral treatment before they start taking immunosuppressive medication. However, there is still a lack of scientific evidence to support this new recommendation. To address this, Heyson C.H. Chan, MBChB, MRCP, from the Institute of Digestive Disease at t
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