The prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection is thought to be higher in institutions for people with a learning disability than in the general population (Clarke et al, 1984). People with Down's syndrome are reported to be at higher risk than other learning disability groups. The prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (Hbs Ag) in Great Britain is in the order of 1 in 500 of the blood donor adult population (Department of Health, 1980). This rate is lower than those reported from countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. The present study was to identify those residents in an institution for people with a learning disability with a positive response to the test for Hbs Ag.
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