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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


CHAVEZ, Juliana Helena; CAMPANA, Sabrina Gonçalves  and  HAAS, Patrícia. An overview of hepatitis B in Brazil and in the state of Santa Catarina. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2003, vol.14, n.2, pp.91-96. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To provide an overview of hepatitis B infection in Brazil overall, in the South of Brazil, and in the state of Santa Catarina (in southeastern Brazil) for the period of 1996 through 2002, taking into consideration such epidemiological aspects as age and sex. SOURCE OF DATA: Data were obtained through a literature review and by consulting with Brazil's National Health Foundation and with Santa Catarina's Department of Epidemiological Surveillance. RESULTS: In Brazil, from 1996 through 2000, hepatitis B was the second most prevalent type of viral hepatitis (25%), with hepatitis A leading in terms of the proportion of cases (43%). In Santa Catarina there was a predominance of hepatitis B in relation to other types of hepatitis from 1997 through 2001. In both Brazil and Santa Catarina there was a larger number of cases among males than among females. In terms of age, the highest incidence was found among those 20 to 49 years old in Santa Catarina and among those over 30 for Brazil overall. The South of Brazil was the country's region with the highest incidence of hepatitis B from 1997 through 1999. In Santa Catarina the largest number of cases from 1996 through 2002 occurred in the southern part of the state, followed by the northeastern and far western sections of the state. CONCLUSIONS: The number of cases of hepatitis B is still growing in Brazil, and it is important to consider that underreporting may have affected the results described in this study. Throughout Brazil, vaccination should be extended to include adolescents in regions that have a moderate to high incidence of hepatitis B.

Keywords : Epidemiologia; hepatite B; Brasil.

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