Gut Liver.  2013 Jan;7(1):66-73.

Seroprevalence of Hepatitis B and C Infections among Healthy Volunteer Blood Donors in the Central California Valley

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, University of California San Francisco Fresno Medical Education Program, Fresno, CA, USA.
  • 2Department of Medicine, Community Regional Medical Center, University of California San Francisco Fresno Medical Education Program, Fresno, CA, USA.
  • 3Central California Blood Center, Fresno, CA, USA.


The Central California Valley has a diverse population with significant proportions of Hispanics and Asians. This cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) in healthy blood donors in the Valley.
A total of 217,738 voluntary blood donors were identified between 2006 and 2010 (36,795 first-time donors; 180,943 repeat donors).
Among the first-time donors, the HBV and HCV prevalence was 0.28% and 0.52%, respectively. Higher HBV prevalence seen in Asians (3%) followed by Caucasians (0.05%), African Americans (0.15%), and Hispanics (0.05%). Hmong had a HBV prevalence of 7.63% with a peak prevalence of 8.76% among the 16- to 35-year-old age group. Highest HCV prevalence in Native Americans (2.8) followed by Caucasians (0.59%), Hispanics (0.45%), African Americans (0.38%), and Asians (0.2%).
Ethnic disparities persist with regard to the prevalence of HBV and HCV in the Central California Valley. The reported prevalence may be an underestimate because our study enrolled healthy volunteer blood donors only. The development of aggressive public health measures to evaluate the true prevalence of HBV and HCV and to identify those in need of HBV and HCV prevention measures and therapy is critically important.


Chronic hepatitis C; Chronic hepatitis B; Central Valley of California; Hmong; Blood donors
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