Who is at highest risk for suffering complications from Hepatitis A?
Complication from hepatitis A are very rare. Persons most at risk from developing complications as a result of hepatitis A include adults over the age of forty1 and persons previous diagnosed with chronic liver disease.2
In 2017, however, public health officials noted an increase in the rate of hospitalizations and deaths from hepatitis A among persons experiencing homelessness and those who use drugs in comparison to data from 2016. Health officials have speculated that the elevated risk of complications within this particular population may be related to additional pre-existing illnesses such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, in addition to participating in high risk activities, such as increased alcohol consumption and drug use.3
IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Hepatitis A and the Hepatitis A 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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1 CDC Hepatitis A – Complications Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book). 13th ed. 2015.
2 Kahn, A Hepatitis A - Are there complications from hepatitis A? Healthline May 7, 2018
3 CDC Hepatitis A Virus Outbreaks Associated with Drug Use and Homelessness — California, Kentucky, Michigan, and Utah, 2017 MMWR Nov. 2, 2018; 67(43);1208–1210