Last updated on February 2018

Hepatitis B Prevalence in the Turkish Population Living in Middle Limburg


Brief description of study

This study will assess HBV (HBsAg, anti-HBc and anti-HBs) prevalence in the Turkish population living in Belgium. Additionally, the investigators will determine the risk factors for HBV infection and the uptake of screening, vaccination and antiviral treatment in this hard-to-reach Turkish population.

Detailed Study Description

HBV infection is an important public health problem in the Turkish population, i.e. one of the largest migrant populations in Europe. With the introduction of cost-effective antiviral treatments in the past decade, there is a need to identify HBV infected patients who may benefit from treatment. This study will assess the HBV prevalence in the Turkish population living in Belgium. Additionally, the investigators will determine the risk factors of HBV infection and the uptake of screening, vaccination and antiviral treatment in this hard-to-reach Turkish population.

A cross-sectional, epidemiological trial will be conducted in the region Middle Limburg Belgium, where the Turkish adult population (subjects born in Turkey or subjects of which one of the parents is born in Turkey), 18 years of age and older, will be screened for HBsAg, anti-HBs and anti-HBc. Educational meetings concerning viral hepatitis B will be organized and there will be three ways to be screened for HBV: (1) immediately after the educational meetings, (2) at the Outpatient Hepatology Department of Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg (ZOL) and (3) at home visits. Subsequently, participants will be asked to fill in a questionnaire regarding sociodemographic factors, migration history, risk factors for HBV infection (e.g. sharing toothbrushes, HBV infected family member) and HBV vaccination status. One year after data collection, HBsAg positive patients will be assessed whether they are under follow-up at the general practitioner or hepatologist. The investigators will also gather information regarding the uptake of vaccination in non-immunized subjects.

This study will provide information about the HBV prevalence and distribution of the stages of liver disease in the Turkish population in Belgium. By determining the risk factors for HBV infection, subgroups with an increased prevalence of HBV infection can be identified. This study will also give information on how to organize the healthcare system for screening in hard-to-reach migrant groups and to develop care paths.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03396458

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