Determining the Actual Prevalence of Hepatitis B in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-Pakistan: A Meta-Analysis

Najeeb Ullah Khan1, *, Ali Zalan1, Arnolfo Petruzziello3, Iftikhar ud din2, Fazle Haq2, Yousaf Hayat2
1 Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (Health Division), The University of Agriculture Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan
2 Department of Mathematics, Stats & Computer Science, The University of Agriculture Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan
3 Virology and Molecular Biology Unit “V. Tridente”, Istituto Nazionale Tumori - Fondazione “G. Pascale”, IRCCS Italia, Naples, Italy

© 2018 Khan et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (Health Division), The University of Agriculture Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan; Tel: +92-3339732955; E-mails:,



Hepatitis B is considered the most dangerous among the five types of Hepatitis, as it is clinically asymptomatic. It can silently damage the liver over many years without being diagnosed. Hepatitis B is one of the top risks of liver complications in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), a province of Pakistan, with an average prevalence rate of 2.70%.


We aimed to carefully review the previously published data on prevalence of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) in KP-Pakistan and use the statistical approach to obtain more precise estimate of the prevalence of HBV in KP-Pakistan. This study on one hand will provide a more reliable and consolidated estimate (pooled estimate) of HBV in the stated region, on the other hand, it enabled us to judge the heterogeneity among the estimates found from these studies. The study is intended to provide more authentic prevalence record and help government/ non-government organizations and health professionals, which plan to initiate HBV prevention programs in KP-Pakistan.


A meta-analysis was performed based on studies found in literature search from electronic databases and bibliography on the prevalence of HBV in KP-Pakistan from 2007 to 2017. Abstracts and results of twenty papers were thoroughly studied and the data were extracted. The findings from these studies were distributed in two groups (general and population at high risk) constituting 15 and 5 studies respectively.


The combined prevalence by considering random model for the general population of KP-Pakistan was observed to be 2.71%, while population at high risk was reasonably high i.e. 5.64%. By comparing this prevalence rate to the highest global prevalence of HBV in the adult population of Western Pacific Region (6.2%), significant (p-value= 0.000) heterogeneity was observed among the estimates in each group. However, the funnel plot provides a symmetric look, eliminating the effect of publication bias. We can say that HBV has an alarming prevalence rate in KP-Pakistan. However, HBV is thrice more prevalent in male population of KP-Pakistan than the female population.


The above results lead that HBV infection has reached an alarming state in KP-Pakistan, though projects like Prime Minister’s Program for Prevention & Control of Hepatitis which are contributing in improving the health of the people of KP by trying to prevent and control the incidence of HBV. More massive vaccination and awareness programs should be initiated to prevent the spread of HBV on urgent basis. Provision of diagnostics and treatment facilities against HBV in healthcare units of KP-Pakistan should be assured.

Keywords: Hepatitis B, Liver, Prevalence, Meta analyze, Infection, Healthcare.