Hepatitis B surface and core antibodies were measured in 512 community hospital employees at increased risk for developing infection with hepatitis B virus. Antibody was detected in 140 (27 percent) participants. Multivariate logistic regression analysis indicated that seropositivity was strongly associated with the prevalence of hepatitis B in an employee's country of birth and with age. These results suggest that reported differences among hospitals in hepatitis B seropositivity may in part be a reflection of the national origin of its employees. These data also indicate that each hospital should assess its own risk for hepatitis B infection and that prevaccination serologic testing is particularly worthwhile in hospitals having large numbers of foreign-born employees.
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