WHO estimates reveal that the global prevalence of viral hepatitis may be as high as 500 million, with an annual mortality rate of up to 1.3 million individuals. The majority of this global burden of disease is borne by nations of the developing world with high rates of vertical and iatrogenic transmission of HBV and HCV, as well as poor access to healthcare. In 2013, 3.2% of the global population (231 million individuals) migrated into a new host nation. Migrants predominantly originate from the developing countries of the south, into the developed economies of North America and Western Europe. This mass migration of individuals from areas of high-prevalence of viral hepatitis poses a unique challenge to the healthcare systems of the host nations. Due to a lack of universal standards for screening, vaccination and treatment of viral hepatitis, the burden of chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma continues to increase among migrant populations globally. Efforts to increase case identification and treatment among migrants have largely been limited to small outreach programs in urban centers, such that the majority of migrants with viral hepatitis continue to remain unaware of their infection. This review summarizes the data on prevalence of viral hepatitis and burden of chronic liver disease among migrants, current standards for screening and treatment of immigrants and refugees, and efforts to improve the identification and treatment of viral hepatitis among migrants.

Cirrhosis, Immigration, Viral hepatitis
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2015.04.026, hdl.handle.net/1765/87986
Journal of Hepatology
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Sharma, S, Carballo, M, Feld, J.J, & Janssen, H.L.A. (2015). Immigration and viral hepatitis. Journal of Hepatology, 63(2), 515–522. doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2015.04.026