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A 38-year-old female asked:

is hepatitis b a lifelong sickness?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Camilla Graham
Infectious Disease 27 years experience
It depends: Hepatitis b is a bit complicated, because a doctor needs to follow what is happening with the virus (like the viral load) and what is happening with a patient's immune (antibody) response to the hepatitis b, as well as the likelihood of damage to the liver (liver enzymes). Some people end up controlling hbv themselves, and others require antiviral medications. Regular monitoring is important.
Dr. Arthur Heller
Gastroenterology 43 years experience
Can be, or not: Adult onset- chronic in about 15%. Onset as infant, at birth from mama who is a viral carrier ( most cases worldwide), typically long- term disease and/ or carrier. Rx available- can be effective.

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A 21-year-old member asked:

Can there be complications with hepatitis a if I have cancer?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Maybe (so get vacc.): Although the great majority of normal, healthy people recover from hepatitis a infection without any long term problems, there are always an unlucky few who have very serious symptoms. A few people die each year from liver failure in the U.S., due to hepatitis a infection. A person with cancer and a weakened immune system or damage to the liver may have more complications from hepatitis a virus.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Can there be complications with hepatitis a if I have diabetes?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Shabbir Hossain
Internal Medicine 16 years experience
Medication related: Some diabetic meds are metabolized or work in the liver. If the hepatitis a affects your liver function, then it's ability to process those medications will be altered.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Is hepatitis b prevalent in the us?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lance Stein
Specializes in Hepatology
Yes: It is prevalent in certain sub-populations such as certain immigrant groups and alaskan natives. There are over 1.25 million hepatitis b carriers in the United States and it is much more common in foreign born immigrants to the us who come from countries with a high prevalence.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Can there be complications with hepatitis b if I am an alcoholic?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lance Stein
Specializes in Hepatology
Yes: All patients with chronic liver diseases need to be counseled to stop drinking. Alcohol will cause the liver damage from hepatitis b and hepatitis C to become more rapid. Two liver problems are always worse than one.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Where in the world is hepatitis b more prevalent?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lance Stein
Specializes in Hepatology
Asia, Eastern Europe: From the who website: hepatitis b is endemic in china and other parts of asia where 8-10% of the adult population are chronically infected. High rates of chronic infections are also found in the amazon and the southern parts of eastern and central europe. In the middle east and indian sub-continent, an estimated 2% to 5% of the general population is chronically infected.

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Last updated Nov 10, 2014

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