Demographics and Epidemiology of Hepatitis B in the State of Qatar: A Five-Year Surveillance-Based Incidence Study

Hamad E Al Romaihi, Nandakumar Ganesan, Elmoubasher A Farag, Maria K Smatti, Gheyath K Nasrallah, Sayed M Himatt, Moutaz F Derbala, Maha Alshamali, Lylu K Mahadoon, Hayat S Khogali, Mohamed Sallam, Asmaa A Al Thani, Mohammed Al Thani, Saad Al Kaabi, Hadi M Yassine

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5 Scopus citations


Background: Expatriates represent >80% of Qatar's population, mostly arriving from countries in Africa and Asia that are endemic with many diseases. This increases the risk for introducing new pathogens into the country and provides a platform for maintenance of endemic pathogen circulation. Here, we report on the incidence and epidemiological characteristics of hepatitis B in Qatar between 2010 and 2014. Methods: We performed a retrospective epidemiological data analysis using the data available at the surveillance system of the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) in Qatar. Data were collected from distinctive public and private incorporates around the nation. Reported cases of hepatitis B patients represent those who met the stringent case definition as per World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and eventually reported to MOPH. Results: The annual incidence rates of hepatitis B cases were 30.0, 34.2, 30.5, 39.4, and 19.8 per 100,000 population in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, respectively. There was no specific trend or seasonality for the reported cases. The incidence rates were higher in females compared to males between 2010 and 2012, but similar in 2013 and 2014. The highest incidence rates were reported among individuals between 25 and 34 years of age. No cases were reported in children younger than five years in 2013 and 2014. Rates of hepatitis B cases declined dramatically in 2014, in both Qataris and non-Qataris, as compared to the previous years. Conclusion: Our results indicate a dramatic decline of hepatitis B cases in Qatar but mandate improved surveillance and vaccination efforts in expatriates in the nation.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
StatePublished - 21 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


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