Hepatitis B virus infection in a pregnant woman poses a serious risk to her infant at birth. Without postexposure prophylaxis, as many as 90% of infants born to HBV-infected mothers in the United States will become infected with HBV. Subsequently, 90% of those infants develop chronic HBV infection and approximately one-fourth of these infants eventually will die from liver-related complications. A vaccine for hepatitis B is available, and, during the last 30 years, vaccination has prevented more than half a million U.S. children from acquiring the disease. Although the hepatitis B vaccine successfully prevents infection, women who have had the vaccine for hepatitis B should still get screened during every pregnancy.
Number of women aged 15-44 years living with chronic or acute HBV1
Number of infants with chronic HBV, 2009, United States2
Number of pregnant women identified as living with HBV infection, 2015, United States
- Estimate represents U.S. civilian, non-institutionalized, household population of women aged 15-44 years in 2014 and is based on 2003-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data.
- Ko SC, Fan L, Smith, EA, et al. Estimated annual perinatal hepatitis B virus infections in the United States, 2000-2009external icon. J of Ped Infect Dis Soc 2016;5:114–21.
- Number based on infants estimated to be born to HBV-infected women in 2015.
- Number based on infants born to HBV-infected women as identified by the national Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program in 2015.