Veterans Administration cooperative study on hepatitis and dentistry.

E. R. Schiff, M. D. de Medina, S. N. Kline, G. R. Johnson, Y. K. Chan, J. Shorey, N. Calhoun, E. F. Irish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Personnel in the VA dental facilities were screened for the detection of viral hepatitis and identification of factors implicating infectivity. A total of 963 personnel from 126 dental facilities throughout the United States voluntarily participated in the study. The rate of seroconversion for any hepatitis B markers was approximately 1% per year. Serial positive tests for antibody to hepatitis B core antigen or antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (or both) were present in 16.2% of dentists and 13.0% of dental auxiliary personnel. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons composed the highest prevalence occupation (24.0%), and clinical personnel composed the lowest prevalence occupation (8.9%). There was a significant association between years in dental environment and serological positivity for viral B infection. The dentists and dental auxiliary personnel had significant linear trends of increasing serological positivity with years in the dental environment. Although a majority of personnel reported wearing gloves while treating high-risk patients or performing invasive procedures, inadequate prophylactic measures were exercised for most patients undergoing a variety of less invasive procedures. The results of the study show the need for an active immunization program against type B viral infection for dental and dental auxiliary personnel, preferably before the initial exposure to the professional environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-396
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association (1939)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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