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Chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a significant public health issue in China. Understanding factors associated with chronic HBV is important to enable targeted screening and education and to improve early diagnosis and prevention of disease progression. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to identify and describe correlates of chronic HBV among Chinese adults. Searches were conducted in MEDLINE, EMBASE and grey literature up to 25 June 2020. Eligible papers included observational studies in adults of the general population in China that reported factors associated with chronic HBV, measured by Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Meta-analysis was performed using fixed-effect models of HBsAg prevalence among factors, and of adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for chronic HBV associated with each factor. Overall 39 articles were included, covering 22 factors, including a range of sociodemographic, behavioural and medical factors. In meta-analysis of eligible studies, a range of factors were significantly associated with higher HBsAg prevalence, including middle age, male sex, being married, rural residence, lower education, smoking, having a HBsAg positive household contact, family history of HBV, history of surgery or blood transfusion. The adjusted ORs varied, from 1.11 (95% CI 1.05-1.18) for smoking to 5.13 (95% CI 4.99-5.26) for having a HBsAg positive household contact. In Chinese adults, a range of factors are associated with chronic HBV infection, which may help inform targeted screening in the general population.

Original publication




Journal article


J Viral Hepat

Publication Date