Hep B Blog

Tag Archives: diabetes prevention

Hepatitis B Precautions for People Living with Diabetes


March 27th is Diabetes Alert Day!

Diabetes is a chronic condition that is characterized by high glucose (or sugar) levels in the blood. It usually occurs when a person cannot produce enough insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), global prevalence of diabetes is on the rise! In 1980, diabetes prevalence in adults over the age of 18 was 4.7%. The number rose to 8.5% in 2014 and continues to increase. In 2015, there was an estimated 1.6 million deaths that were attributed to diabetes.

Like hepatitis B, there have been several studies that show a strong link between type II diabetes and liver cancer. Diabetes and hepatitis B can be a dangerous combination and can work together to increase someone’s risk of developing liver cancer.

Since the hepatitis B virus can be transmitted via blood or other bodily fluids, people living with diabetes are at an increased risk of contracting hepatitis B. In fact, one study found that people living with diabetes between the ages of 23-59 have an approximately two-fold increased risk of hep B infection compared to those without diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been hepatitis B outbreaks in nursing homes, assisted living, and long-term care facilities among people living with diabetes. Some risks for transmission include:

  • Sharing glucose meters between residents without cleaning and disinfecting between uses
  • Lack of proper hand hygiene and failure to wear gloves between fingerstick procedures
  • Using the same fingerstick devices for more than one resident
  • Cross-contamination of clean supplies with contaminated blood glucose monitoring equipment used by home health agencies
  • Sharing injection equipment such as an insulin pen or syringe for more than one person
  • Failure to perform proper sterilization and separating contaminated and clean podiatry equipment
  • Failure to perform proper disinfection between podiatry patients

So, what can you do if you are living with diabetes to prevent hepatitis B transmission?

  • Get tested! A simple three-part blood test will tell you if you have hepatitis B, were exposed, or are protected.
  • Get vaccinated – If you find that you are not protected or if you have not finished your hepatitis B vaccine series. The CDC and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend that adults between 19-59 years of age living with diabetes get vaccinated to protect against hepatitis B. Those 60-years-old or older should ask their doctor about the vaccine before getting it.
  • Do not share your diabetes care equipment to prevent exposure!

For more information about hepatitis B and diabetes, WHO, CDC, and/or American Diabetes Association. For a personal account of hepatitis B and diabetes, visit Martha Zimmer’s blog post. You can also visit our website for information about diabetes and liver cancer

HBV Journal Review – July 2014

ChrisKHBF is pleased to connect our blog readers to Christine Kukka’s monthly HBV Journal Review that she writes for the HBV Advocate. The journal presents the
 latest in hepatitis B research, treatment, and prevention from recent academic and medical journals. This month, the following topics are explored:

  • Ground-Breaking Study Finds Antiviral Treatment Does Reduce Cancer Risk
  • Sequential Treatment of Antivirals Followed by Interferon Spurs HBeAg Seroconversio
  • Is the Current Recommended Dose of Entecavir Too Low for Some Patients?
  • Measuring Liver Stiffness, Spleen Size and Platelets Can Predict Cancer Risk
  • Tenofovir Effective in Patients with Lamivudine Resistance
  • Entecavir and Adefovir Combo Works Best in Lamivudine-Resistant Patients
  • When Is It Safe to Stop Antivirals? Experts Still Not Sure
  • Liver Stiffness Test Identifies Which Patients Develop Liver Damage After Treatment Stops
  • Study Suggest Hepatitis B Immunization Could Cut Diabetes Risk by Half
  • Herbal Medication Treatment Linked to Liver Failure in Patient with Hepatitis B

HBV Journal Review

July 1, 2014
Volume 11, Issue 7
by Christine M. Kukka

Ground-Breaking Study Finds Antiviral Treatment Does Reduce Cancer Risk

For the first time, an authoritative study has found that antiviral treatment appears to reduce the risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related liver cancer. Even though treated patients had more liver damage, their cancer rates were similar to untreated, healthier patients.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention examined the health records of 2,671 hepatitis B patients treated at four health centers across the U.S. between 1992 and 2011. Half of the patients were Asian-American and about 31% (820) had been treated with antivirals. The treated patients tended to have more liver damage, were older, male and less likely to be Asian-American than untreated patients in the study.

Researchers, reporting in the June issue of the journal ofClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, found that 67 (3%) of the 2,671 patients developed liver cancer over the study period. Twenty of the 820 patients treated with antivirals developed cancer, compared to 47 of the 1,851 untreated patients.

Treated patients with viral loads less than 20,000 IU/mL had a significantly lower risk of cancer than untreated patients with similarly low viral loads.

Antivirals appeared to confer some protection against liver cancer even in patients with fibrosis (liver inflammation) and cirrhosis (liver scarring), suggesting that viral loads may be the primary culprit behind liver cancer. By suppressing viral load, liver cancer was avoided in many of these high-risk patients with serious liver damage.

Researchers wrote, “…We found that antiviral treatment had a beneficial effect across a spectrum of viral load levels (and disease severity.)”

Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24107395

Sequential Treatment of Antivirals Followed by Interferon Spurs HBeAg Seroconversion 
Chinese researchers found that hepatitis B “e” antigen (HBeAg)-positive patients who were treated first with the antiviral entecavir (Baraclude) and then with pegylated interferon achieve a higher rate of HBeAg seroconversion (loss of HBeAg and development of “e” antibodies) than patients treated with only entecavir.

Continue reading the HBV Journal Review…