Immunizing infants at birth against hepatitis B virus (HBV) in an area of rural China that has a high incidence of primary liver cancer reduces the risk of liver cancer and other liver diseases in young adulthood, according to study by researchers from China and the United States (Qu C et al. PLoS Med. 2014;11:e1001774).
The investigators report long-term outcomes from a neonatal HBV vaccination cluster randomized controlled trial, the Qidong Hepatitis B Intervention Study, which was carried out between 1983 and 1990 in Qidong, China. In this study, 73 733 newborns across 41 rural towns were randomized either to the intervention group (38 366 newborns who completed the HBV vaccination series) or the control group (34 441 newborns who received no vaccination). Two-thirds of the control group participants received a catch-up vaccination between 10 and 14 years of age.
Friedrich M. Neonatal HBV Vaccine Protects Against Liver Disease. JAMA. 2015;313(7):659. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.0575