Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Hepatitis B virus infections and risk factors among the general population in Anhui Province, China: an epidemiological study

Xiaoqing Li1*, Yingjun Zheng1, Adrian Liau2, Biao Cai1, Dongqing Ye3, Feng Huang3, Xiaorong Sheng1, Fuyang Ge1, Liu Xuan1, Shun Li1 and Jing Li1

Author Affiliations

1 Anhui Academy of Medical Sciences, No. 1 Yonghong Road, Luyang District, Hefei, Anhui 230061, People's Republic of China

2 Indiana University School of Medicine, 410 W. 10th Street, HS 100, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA

3 School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, No. 69 Meishan Road, Shushan District, Hefei, Anhui 230032, People's Republic of China

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BMC Public Health 2012, 12:272  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-272

Published: 5 April 2012



Hepatitis B is one of the most common infectious diseases in China. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) among the general population and the risk factors associated with HBV infection in Anhui province, China.


A provincial serosurvey was conducted in four cities, and selected through stratified clustering sampling. Data on demographics, immunization history, medical history, family medical history, and life history were collected, along with serum tested for HBsAg. Completed surveys were analysed from 8,875 participants.


Overall prevalence of HBsAg was 7.44%. Using multivariate analysis, older age was a risk factor for HBsAg infection among children younger than 15 years. Among adults 15-59 years old, the risk factors were male gender, a history of surgical operations, at least one HBsAg-positive family member, and non-vaccination. For adults older than 59 years, the risk factor was a blood transfusion history.


Though Anhui province has already reached the national goal of reducing HBsAg prevalence to less than 1% among children younger than 5 years, there are still several risk factors for HBsAg infection among the older population. Immunization programs should continue to focus on adults, and interventions should be taken to reduce risk factors associated with being infected with Hepatitis B.