Maternal hepatitis B or C carrier status and long-term risk for offspring neurological morbidity: a population-based cohort study

Israel Yoles, Eyal Sheiner, Naim Abu-Freha, Tamar Wainstock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Hepatitis B and hepatitis C (HBV/HCV) are important global public health concerns. We aimed to evaluate the association between maternal HBV/HCV carrier status and long-term offspring neurological hospitalisations. A population-based cohort analysis compared the risk for long-term childhood neurological hospitalisations in offspring born to HBV/HCV carrier vs. non-carrier mothers in a large tertiary medical centre between 1991 and 2014. Childhood neurological diseases, such as cerebral palsy, movement disorders or developmental disorders, were pre-defined based on ICD-9 codes as recorded in hospital medical files. Offspring with congenital malformations and multiple gestations were excluded from the study. A Kaplan-Meier survival curve was constructed to compare cumulative neurological hospitalisations over time, and a Cox proportional hazards model was used to control for confounders. During the study period (1991-2014), 243,682 newborns met the inclusion criteria, and 777 (0.3%) newborns were born to HBV/HCV mothers. The median follow-up was 10.51 years (0-18 years). The offspring from HBV/HCV mothers had higher incidence of neurological hospitalisations (4.5 vs. 3.1%, hazard ratio (HR) = 1.91, 95% CI 1.37-2.67). Similarly, the cumulative incidence of neurological hospitalisations was higher in children born to HBV/HCV carrier mothers (Kaplan-Meier survival curve log-rank test p < 0.001). The increased risk remained significant in a Cox proportional hazards model, which adjusted for gestational age, mode of delivery and pregnancy complications (adjusted HR = 1.40, 1.01-1.95, p = 0.049). We conclude that maternal HBV or HCV carrier status is an independent risk factor for the long-term neurological hospitalisation of offspring regardless of gestational age and other adverse perinatal outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-119
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - 21 Feb 2022


  • Pregnancy
  • follow-up studies
  • hepatitis B
  • hepatitis C
  • nervous system diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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