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USPSTF Issues Draft Recommendation Statement on Screening for Hepatitis B in Pregnant Women

USPSTF reaffirms recommendation on screening for hepatitis B infection in pregnant women at their first prenatal visit to prevent infection in newborns.

The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) recently posted a draft recommendation statement regarding screening for hepatitis B infection in pregnant women. Before finalizing the recommendations, USPSTF is inviting the public to review it and comment on it here. Comments can be submitted through February 4, 2019 by visiting this page on the USPSTF site.

Based on their most recent evidence review, USPSTF continues to recommend screening for hepatitis B infection in pregnant women at their first prenatal visit to prevent infection in newborns.

Screening for hepatitis B in pregnancy has been a standard of care for more than 30 years, with a grade “A” recommendation from USPSTF since the topic was first reviewed in 1996. USPSTF’s recent statement reaffirms this recommendation, maintaining the task force’s most recent recommendation based on a review of the topic in 2009.

“In children, the primary source of hepatitis B infection is transmission at birth from an infected mother,” says USPSTF member Alex Kemper, M.D., M.P.H., M.S. “But we know that screening for hepatitis B in pregnant women can keep babies from getting the virus and prevent the onset of potentially lifelong serious health problems.”

Comments on the draft recommendation are due February 4, 2019. To view the draft recommendations and submit comments, visit www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/tfcomment.htm.

Working to improve the health of all Americans, the USPSTF   is an independent panel of non-Federal experts that makes recommendations on clinical preventive services, such as screenings, counseling, and preventive medications, to primary care clinicians. The USPSTF bases its recommendations on a rigorous, systematic review of peer-reviewed evidence, critique by subject matter experts, and public comment. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has been authorized by the U.S. Congress to convene the Task Force and to provide ongoing scientific, administrative, and dissemination support to the Task Force.

Posted In: 
Prevention and Wellness
Tagged: Hepatitis B