Transfusion-associated hepatitis in the United States: An epidemiologic analysis

Kenneth R. Ratzan, Michael B. Gregg, Betty Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ratzan, K. R., M. B. Gregg (Viral Diseases Branch, Epidemiology Program, CDC, Atlanta, Ga. 30333) and B. Hanson. Transfusion-associated hepatitis in the United States: An epidemiologic analysis. Amer J Epidem 94: 425-434, 1971.-Epidemiologic data from 1,697 transfusion-associated hepatitis cases were examined to determine (a) the role of infectious hepatitis transmission through transfusions and (b) the effect of transfusion type and size on the incubation period. Incubation periods ranged from 15-180 days with a unimodal distribution skewed to the right. In 36% the incubation period was under 50 days. Analysis of age distribution, case fatality, and date of receipt of transfusion revealed no difference between the short (under 40 days) and long (60-180 days) incubation period groups; moreover, the short incubation period group shared none of the other epidemiologic markers of infectious hepatitis. Incubation period varied directly with transfusion size-the larger the transfusion, the longer the incubation period. In addition, patients receiving pooled plasma (i.e., more gamma-globulin) had longer incubation periods than those receiving blood alone (i.e., less gamma-globulin). These data suggest that gamma-globulin may play a role in modifying transfusion-associated hepatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-434
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1971


  • Blood transfusion
  • Gamma globulin
  • Hepatitis, homologous serum
  • Hepatitis, infectious
  • Hepatitis-associated antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Epidemiology


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