Hepatitis B infection: what the primary care doctors should know

  • Keng Yin Loh
  • Siang Tong Kew


Hepatitis B infection is a global public health problem and causes significant morbidity and mortality. The worldwide prevalence of chronic hepatitis B infection is about 400 million people, and it causes 500 thousand deaths each year.1,2 The prevalence of chronic HBV infection is high (>8%) in certain part of Asia and Southeast Asia, including China, Korea, Indonesia, and the Philippines.1-3 In Malaysia about 1.1 million people are thought to be chronically infected with hepatitis B virus. The estimated prevalence of HBsAg among the population is approximately 4.7%. These data are obtained from Malaysian Liver Foundation in 1998.8

Hepatitis B infection is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The clinical manifestations of HBV infection (Figure 1) range in severity from asymptomatic subclinical infection (70%), symptomatic hepatitis (30%) to fulminant severe hepatitis with liver failure (0.10-0.5%).1,2 Following the exposure to HBV, up to about 10% of the patient will progress to chronic hepatitis B, which is defined as persistence of the infection for more than 6 months duration.5,6 The chronic hepatitis B then progress to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in about 15-40% of the patients. (copied from article)


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How to Cite
LohK. Y., & KewS. T. (2006). Hepatitis B infection: what the primary care doctors should know. Malaysian Family Physician, 1(1), 3. Retrieved from https://www.e-mfp.org/ojs3/index.php/MFP/article/view/226
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