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J Korean Neurol Assoc. 2006 Dec;24(6):544-549. Korean. Original Article.
Jeong SK , Seo MW , Kim YH , Kim YK , Kim DS , Shin YJ .
Department of Neurology, Chonbuk National University Medical School Jeonju, Korea.
Department of Radiology, Chonbuk National University Medical School Jeonju, Korea.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chonbuk National University Medical School Jeonju, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

BACKGROUND: Carotid atherosclerosis has been known to be associated with systemic inflammatory status. The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between hepatitis viral infection or vaccination and carotid atherosclerosis in a relatively healthy population. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed in 281 subjects (mean age+/-SD, y; 43.8+/-7.2) in the Chonbuk national university hospital. All the participants were examined for the carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in both common carotid, carotid bulb, and internal carotid arteries. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and IgG antibodies against hepatitis B and C virus (anti-HBs and anti-HCV) were determined by enzyme linked immunosorbent assays. RESULTS: Twelve subjects (4.3%) were HBsAg seropositive and 6 (2.1%) were anti-HCV positive but the positivity did not affect the mean carotid IMT. However, the hepatitis B-exposure group including both the HBsAg positive and anti-HBs positive without vaccination history showed a significantly higher carotid IMT (mean+/-SD, mm; 0.757+/-0.107 vs. 0.728+/-0.105, P=0.031), even after adjusting for the potential confounders. And, in the subgroup having anti-HBs, the carotid IMT was lower in the hepatitis B vaccinated subjects than in the others (0.725+/-0.103 vs. 0.760+/-0.111, P=0.019). CONCLUSIONS: Subjects exposed to the hepatitis B pathogen, even though they had anti-HBs, showed the higher carotid IMT, and the participants with a vaccination history demonstrated the lower IMT values. Subsequent study in a large representative population might be needed to further delineate the characteristic associations.

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