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Acute sporadic hepatitis E in the Zhejiang coastal area of China: a 14-year hospital-based surveillance study

Tan, Jun, Chen, Yijuan, Wang, Lin, Chan, Ta-Chien, Amer, Said, Xu, Xiaobin, Cai, Jian, Li, Wei, Zheng, Xiaoqing, Zhou, Mi, Qin, Shuwen, Zhao, Na, Miao, Ziping, Liu, Shelan
Virology journal 2019 v.16 no.1 pp. 16
epidemiological studies, Orthohepevirus A, men, monitoring, women, hepatitis E, hospitals, superinfection, males, information systems, relative risk, risk factors, seasonal variation, coasts, cities, patients, alcohol drinking, mortality, China
BACKGROUND: To examine the epidemiological trends and changes of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection and the potential risk factors for severe infection in the Zhejiang eastern coastal area of China. METHODS: We analyzed statutory hepatitis E cases notifications and inpatient data held by the national surveillance and hospital information systems in Wenzhou, Taizhou, Ningbo, and Zhoushan cities of the Zhejiang eastern coastal area of China. RESULTS: Nine thousand four hundred sixteen hepatitis E cases were reported from 2004 to 2017, with an average incidence of 2.94 per 100,000. The overall death rate was 0.06% (6/9416). A gradual decline of hepatitis E cases was found in the coastal areas since 2007, while a rise was identified in the non-coastal areas. Annual incidence in non-coastal cities was much higher than that in coastal cities (4.345 vs. 2.945 per 100,000, relative risk = 1.5, P value < 0.001). The mean age was 52 years old and 50.55 years with a male-to-female ratio of 2.32:1 and 2.21:1 in coastal and noncoastal areas respectively (all P > 0.05). Hepatitis E cases prevalence increased with age, highest among men in their 70s (9.02 vs. 11.33 per 100,000) and women in their 60s (3.94 vs. 4.66 per 100,000) groups for both coastal and noncoastal areas respectively. A clear seasonal pattern was observed, with a peak in March (0.4429 per 100,000) in coastal areas. 202 inpatients were documented, of which 50.50% (102/202) were severe cases. Male individuals with alcohol consumption, alcohol hepatic diseases, and superinfection were the three independent highest risks for severe infections (all with P value < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: This is to our knowledge the largest epidemiological study of hepatitis E cases in the eastern coastal area of Zhejiang province of China. The patterns of infection across the coastal areas were similar to those of the non-coastal areas, but the incidence was substantially lower and decreased gradually since 2007.