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Maternal age at first childbirth and geographical variation in HBV prevalence in Cameroon: Important role of mother-to-child transmission

Abstract : BACKGROUND: The prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection varies geographically around the world. However, the underlying reasons for this variation are unknown. Using a nationally representative population-based sample from all 58 administrative divisions in Cameroon, we examined the association between median maternal age at first childbirth in a preceding generation, a proxy for the frequency of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HBV in a region, and the risk of chronic HBV infection, defined as positive surface antigen (HBsAg), in the index generation. METHODS: We estimated a division-specific median maternal age at first childbirth using historical data from Demographic Health Surveys (DHS) in 1991/1998/2004/2011. We tested HBsAg in 2011 DHS participants. We used maps to display spatial variation and spatial models for the analysis. RESULTS: In 14,150 participants (median 27 years old, 51% females), the overall weighted prevalence of HBsAg was 11.9% (95%CI: 11.0-12.8), with a wide geographical variation across the divisions (range: 6.3-23.7%). After adjusting for confounding factors and spatial dependency, lower maternal age at first childbirth was significantly associated with positive HBsAg at the division level (β: 1.89 [95%CI: 1.26-2.52], p<0.001), and at the individual level (OR: 1.20 [95%CI: 1.04-1.39], p=0.016). A similar ecological correlation was observed across other African countries. CONCLUSIONS: The significant association between the maternal age at first childbirth and HBsAg-positivity suggests a crucial role of MTCT in maintaining high HBV endemicity in some areas in Cameroon. This underlines an urgent need to effectively prevent MTCT in order to achieve WHO’s global hepatitis elimination goals.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03283690
Contributor : Laurent Jonchère Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, October 13, 2021 - 10:33:28 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 3:33:23 AM

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Jude Moutchia, Richard Njouom, Eva Rumpler, Camille Besombes, Gaëtan Texier, et al.. Maternal age at first childbirth and geographical variation in HBV prevalence in Cameroon: Important role of mother-to-child transmission. Clinical Infectious Diseases, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2021, ⟨10.1093/cid/ciab548⟩. ⟨hal-03283690⟩

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