Seroprevalence and disease burden of acute hepatitis A in adult population in South Korea

Jin Gu Yoon, Min Joo Choi, Jae Won Yoon, Ji Yun Noh, Joon Young Song, Hee Jin Cheong, Woo Joo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Adult seroprevalence of HAV is decreasing in developed countries including South Korea, due to general sanitation improvement. Although hepatitis A vaccination was introduced in South Korea more than 20 years ago, recent infection rates have not decreased. In this study, we investigate the seroprevalence of anti-HAV IgG, and estimate the national disease burden of acute hepatitis A in adult population. Methods: Seroprevalence data were collected from health promotion center of Korea University Guro Hospital, in Seoul, Korea from 2010 to 2014. Data from adults (20-years) being tested for anti-HAV IgG were included. In addition, epidemiological and clinical data of patients diagnosed with acute hepatitis A from 2009 to 2013, were collected from Korean Statistical Information Service (KOSIS) and the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) database. Data were stratified and compared by age groups. Results: A total of 11,177 subjects were tested for anti-HAV IgG from 2010 to 2014. Age-related seroprevalence showed relatively low seropositivity in young adults. Incidence of acute hepatitis A was highest in 2009 and lowest in 2013. When categorized by age group, adults in their 20s and 30s had more HAV infections and related-admissions than older adults. However, ICU admission rate and average insurance-covered cost was high in older adults. Conclusion: The anti-HAV IgG seropositivity in Korean younger adult population was low while the incidence of acute hepatitis A was high, especially in the 20–39 aged. However, a substantial number of older adults were infected, and required more intensive procedures and incurred higher insurance-covered medical costs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0186257
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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