Seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus markers was examined in employees participating in patient care at The Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Of 377 workers tested in 1985-86, 36 (9.6%) were seropositive for any marker. Among 285 employees who presumably have only work-related hepatitis B exposure, 14 (4.9%) were seropositive. Age 50 years and older, black race, and education no more than 12 years were associated with seropositivity among workers with work-related exposure. Employees in the clinics, laboratories, emergency room, and operating room had an increased prevalence of hepatitis B markers compared to those in other work locations (8 vs. 2%, p < 0.05). Traditional risk factors for infection were not predictive of seropositivity. Although the risk of acquiring hepatitis B infection from employment in a children's hospital is low, this study does identify work-related risk factors. Possible reasons for this association are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health