Table of Contents

Component Description

Hepatitis viruses constitute a major public health problem because of the morbidity and mortality associated with the acute and chronic consequences of these infections. New immunization strategies have been developed to eliminate the spread of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis A virus (HAV) in the United States. Recommendations have also been developed for the prevention and control of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Because of the high rate of asymptomatic infection with these viruses, information about the prevalence of these diseases is needed to monitor prevention efforts. By testing a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population, NHANES will provide the most reliable estimates of age-specific prevalence needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies to prevent these infections. Testing for hepatitis B surface antibody contributes information important to distinguish immunity from vaccination among persons who lack antibodies to hepatitis B core. NHANES testing for markers of infection with hepatitis viruses will be used to determine secular trends in infection rates across most age and racial/ethnic groups, and will provide a national picture of the epidemiologic determinants of these infections.

Eligible Sample

All participants aged 2 years or older are eligible to be tested.

Description of Laboratory Methodology

Blood specimens are processed, stored, and shipped to the Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Detailed instructions on specimen collection and processing can be found on the NHANES website.

The VITROS Anti-HBs Quantitative assay is performed using the VITROS Anti-HBs Quantitative Reagent Pack and VITROS Immunodiagnostic Products Anti-HBs Calibrators on the VITROS ECi/ECiQ Immunodiagnostic System.

An immunometric technique is used. This involves the reaction of anti-HBs in the sample with HBsAg (ad and ay subtypes) coated onto the wells. A horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-labeled HBsAg conjugate (ad and ay subtypes) then complexes with the bound anti-HBs forming an “antigen sandwich.” Unbound materials are removed by washing.

A reagent containing luminogenic substrates (a luminol derivative and a peracid salt) and an electron transfer agent, is added to the wells. The HRP in the bound conjugate catalyzes the oxidation of the luminol derivative, producing light. The electron transfer agent increases the level and duration of the light produced. The light signals are read by the VITROS ECi/ECiQ Immunodiagnostic System. The amount of HRP conjugate bound is directly proportional to the concentration of anti-HBs present.

There were no changes (from the previous 2 years of NHANES) to the lab methods.

Data Processing and Editing

Read the General Documentation on Laboratory Data file for detailed data processing and editing protocols. The analytical methods are described in the Description of Laboratory Methodology section above.

Laboratory Quality Assurance and Monitoring

The NHANES quality control and quality assurance protocols (QA/QC) meet the 1988 Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act mandates. Detailed QA/QC instructions are discussed in the NHANES Laboratory/Medical Technologists Procedures Manual (LPM). Read the General Documentation on Laboratory Data file for detailed QA/QC protocols. A detailed description of the quality assurance and quality control procedures can be found on the NHANES website.

Analytic Notes

The analysis of NHANES laboratory data must be conducted with the key survey design and basic demographic variables. The Demographic file contains: Status Variables providing core information on the survey participant including examination status, Recoded Demographic Variables including age, gender, race, etc., and Interview and Examination Sample Weight Variables and Survey Design Variables. The Questionnaire Data Files contain socio-economic data, health indicators, and other related information collected during household interviews. The Phlebotomy Examination file includes auxiliary information on duration of fasting, the time of day of the venipuncture, and the conditions precluding venipuncture. The Demographic, Questionnaire and Phlebotomy Examination files may be linked to the laboratory data file using the unique survey participant identifier SEQN.

Exam sample weights should be used for analyses.

Please refer to the NHANES Analytic Guidelines and the on-line NHANES Tutorial  for further details on the use of sample weights and other analytic issues.

Codebook and Frequencies

SEQN - Respondent sequence number

Variable Name:
SAS Label:
Respondent sequence number
English Text:
Respondent sequence number.
Both males and females 2 YEARS - 150 YEARS

LBXHBS - Hepatitis B surface antibody

Variable Name:
SAS Label:
Hepatitis B surface antibody
English Text:
Hepatitis B surface antibody
Both males and females 2 YEARS - 150 YEARS
Code or Value Value Description Count Cumulative Skip to Item
1 Positive 2635 2635
2 Negative 5849 8484
. Missing 1038 9522