Hepatitis B Mutation Seen in Only Men, Increased Risk of Liver Cancer
A recent study looks at a form of hepatitis B that is only found in men and may explain higher rates for certain types of cancer.
According to a team of researchers from Seoul National University in Korea, they identified a mutation from the hepatitis B virus that seems to appear only in men and may explain why HBV-infected males are roughly five times more likely than HBV-infected women to develop certain types of liver cancer.
"This is the first mutation found that can explain the gender disparity in incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma," Bum-Joon Kim of Seoul National University, Korea, an author on the study said, via a press release.
Researchers collected and analyzed serum samples from approximately 292 patients found with chronic HBV infections that visited one of three hospitals in Korea from 2003 to 2005. Previous findings have suggested that a gene mutation known as W4P/R that was associated with a higher incidence of liver cancer and cirrhosis, yet the same mutation was also significant associated with severe liver disease that was only found in male patients.
Investigators believe that this mutation may hold promise for predicting the progression of both cirrhosis and liver cancer, as only 67 of the 292 samples came from women in the studies' findings.
As HBV continues to be a global health problem, with over 350 million chronic carriers, infection prevalence ranges from less than half of the United States to 10 percent of Asia and more than 15 percent of Africa. Transmission can come through unprotected sexual activity, drug abuse and childbirth. Make sure to take accuarte measure to protect yourself.
More information regarding the study can be found via the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.