1 The Central District, Clalit Health Services, Rishon Le Tzion, Israel.
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Soroka University Medical Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
3 Gastroenterology and Hepatology Department, Soroka University Medical Center, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
4 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.
More than 360 million people have chronic hepatitis B or C (HBV/HCV) infection worldwide, many of which are women at childbearing age. While the risk of perinatal HBV/HCV has been well established, the long-term implications on offspring health, have been less studied. We aimed to evaluate the association between maternal HBV/HCV carrier status and long-term gastrointestinal (GI) morbidities in offspring.
AIMS & METHODS:
A population-based cohort analysis compared the risk for long-term childhood GI morbidities in children born to HBV/HCV carrier mothers vs the risk in those who were born to noncarriers. Childhood GI morbidities were predefined based on ICD-9 codes, as recorded in hospital medical files. Children with congenital malformations and multiple gestations were excluded from the analysis. A Kaplan-Meier survival curve was constructed to compare the cumulative GI morbidities over time, and a Cox proportional hazards model was used to control for confounders.
During the study period (1991-2014), 242 342 newborns met the inclusion criteria: 771 (0.3%) were born to HBV/HCV mothers and 241 571 (99.7%) were not. The median follow-up was 10.51 years (0-18 years). Offspring to HBV/HCV mothers had a higher incidence of GI diseases (9.3% vs 5.4%, OR = 1.82; 95% CI 1.43-2.32; Kaplan-Meier log-rank = 0.001). The increased risk remained significant in the Cox proportional hazards models, which adjusted for gestational age, mode of delivery and pregnancy complications (adjusted HR = 2.26, 95% CI: 1.79-2.85; P < .001).
Maternal HBV or HCV carrier status is an independent risk factor for long-term the GI morbidity of offspring.