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Who is at highest risk for suffering complications from Hepatitis B?

Updated February 16, 2023

hepatitis b virus

For most people, acute hepatitis B is not a serious illness. Most infants and children and 50 percent of all adults have no symptoms.  Those most at risk for complications from acute hepatitis B infection include seniors, due to age related decreases in immune function;  individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, due to impaired immune function and the inability to adequately clear the virus;  and pregnant women, possibly due to pregnancy-related immune changes. 

Individuals who are most at risk of chronic hepatitis B include newborns and infants exposed to hepatitis B from their infected mothers during childbirth, individuals with immune deficiencies, and those receiving hemodialysis. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Hepatitis B and the Hepatitis B vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents , which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.


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