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Hepatitis A Vaccination Coverage Among People With Chronic Liver Disease in England (HEALD): Protocol for a Retrospective Cohort Study

JMIR Res Protoc. 2023 Oct 24;12:e51861. doi: 10.2196/51861.


BACKGROUND: Hepatitis A outbreaks in the United Kingdom are uncommon. Most people develop mild to moderate symptoms that resolve, without sequelae, within months. However, in high-risk groups, including those with underlying chronic liver disease (CLD), hepatitis A infection can be severe, with a higher risk of mortality and morbidity. The Health Security Agency and the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence recommend preexposure hepatitis A vaccination given in 2 doses to people with CLD, regardless of its cause. There are currently no published reports of vaccination coverage for people with CLD in England or internationally.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to describe hepatitis A vaccination coverage in adults with CLD in a UK primary care setting and compare liver disease etiology, sociodemographic characteristics, and comorbidities in people who are and are not exposed to the hepatitis A vaccine.

METHODS: We will conduct a retrospective cohort study with data from the Primary Care Sentinel Cohort of the Oxford-Royal College of General Practitioners Clinical Informatics Digital Hub database, which is nationally representative of the English population. We will include people aged 18 years and older who have been registered in general practices in the Research and Surveillance Centre network and have a record of CLD between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2022, including those with alcohol-related liver disease, chronic hepatitis B, chronic hepatitis C, nonalcohol fatty liver disease, Wilson disease, hemochromatosis, and autoimmune hepatitis. We will carefully curate variables using the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms. We will report the sociodemographic characteristics of those who are vaccinated. These include age, gender, ethnicity, population density, region, socioeconomic status (measured using the index of multiple deprivation), obesity, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Hepatitis A vaccination coverage for 1 and 2 doses will be calculated using an estimate of the CLD population as the denominator. We will analyze the baseline characteristics using descriptive statistics, including measures of dispersion. Pairwise comparisons of case-mix characteristics, comorbidities, and complications will be reported according to vaccination status. A multistate survival model will be fitted to estimate the transition probabilities among four states: (1) diagnosed with CLD, (2) first dose of hepatitis A vaccination, (3) second dose of hepatitis A vaccination, and (4) death. This will identify any potential disparities in how people with CLD get vaccinated.

RESULTS: The Research and Surveillance Centre population comprises over 8 million people. The reported incidence of CLD is 20.7 cases per 100,000. International estimates of hepatitis A vaccine coverage vary between 10% and 50% in this group.

CONCLUSIONS: This study will describe the uptake of the hepatitis A vaccine in people with CLD and report any disparities or differences in the characteristics of the vaccinated population.


PMID:37874614 | DOI:10.2196/51861

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