Sera from 192 out-patient alcoholics attending a clinic for the treatment of alcoholism were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and for antibodies to HBsAg and to hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg). Three sera (1.5%) were positive for HBsAg. Of the remaining 189 alcoholics, 29 (15%) were positive for one or both antibodies. This prevalence is not significantly different from that found in 137 hospitalized HBsAg-negative patients with alcoholic liver disease (35/137 [26%] were positive for one or both antibodies). However, the prevalence of hepatitis B antibodies in out-patient alcoholics is significantly (p less than 0.01) higher when compared with the prevalence in healthy volunteer blood donors (5/114 [4%] were positive for one or both antibodies). A comparison of out-patient alcoholics positive for one or both antibodies (n = 29) with patients negative for both antibodies (n = 160) revealed that the median age in the former group (46 years) was significantly (p less than 0.05) higher than that in the latter group (40 years).
Infection, 1984, Vol 12, Issue 2, p. 72-4
Adult; Female; Hepatitis B Core Antigens; Hepatitis B Surface Antigens; Hepatitis, Alcoholic; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Outpatients