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A survey of Sydney general practitioners’ management of patients with chronic hepatitis B

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In Australia, the prevalence of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection has increased over the past decade, with an estimated 218 000 Australians living with the disease.1 The annual number of deaths attributable to CHB is also expected to rise from 450 in 2008 to 1550 in 2017.2 Cost-effective treatments to reduce morbidity and mortality are available;24 however, up to 44% of infected Australians remain undiagnosed1,5 and only 2%–13% of those infected are receiving adequate treatment.2,6

The highest prevalence of CHB in New South Wales is in the Sydney and South Western Sydney Local Health Districts (LHDs), with respective estimated prevalence rates of 1.67% and 1.61% (the NSW average is 1.11%).7 In these LHDs, a large proportion of the population was born in countries with an intermediate or high prevalence of CHB.8,9 To relieve the pressure on specialist liver services, the National Hepatitis B Strategy 2014–20175 recommends an increased role for…