Diabetic Patients Recommended to Get Vaccinated Against Hepatitis B Infection
The higher incidence of Hepatitis B infection reported in adults diagnosed with diabetes had set the Hepatitis Vaccines Work Group of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) into action to evaluate the risk for infection in adults diagnosed with diabetes.
An analysis of 865 cases of acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection had indicated that the diabetic patients between 23 and 59 years of age were 2.1 times more prone to HBV infection than those without diabetes.
This finding was further supported by a survey conducted in United States, which reported that 60% of the diabetic patients had been infected with HBV.
The committee had also assessed the mortality rate of the infection and found that the adults with diabetes had twice the risk of chronic infection and liver cell cancer as compared to those without diabetes.
The negligence to follow the guidelines and other precautionary steps in hospitals and other health centers while monitoring and treating diabetic patients was found to pave the way for easy transmission of the highly infectious HBV through the contaminated equipments.
Hence, a strict adherence to the infection control-measures and vaccination of the health care personnel against HBV infection was highly recommended by the committee.
The protective mechanism of the vaccination was reported to decrease significantly in diabetic adults over 40 years of age.
The committee has proposed economic models for vaccinating diabetic persons in the age group of 20 to 59 that could prevent 130 deaths per year due to infection.
After analyzing the risk factors for HBV infection and the economic impact of the intervention in adults diagnosed with diabetes, the Advisory committee has recommended the following:
• People aged between 19 and 59 years should be immediately vaccinated against Hepatitis B, on being diagnosed with diabetes mellitus.
• Those older than 60 years may consult their doctors before considering vaccination.
Reference: Use of Hepatitis B Vaccination for Adults With Diabetes Mellitus; Mark H. Sawyer et al; Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report.