More than four out of five people who are privately insured and living with hepatitis B virus (HBV) have not been diagnosed with the virus.

Eiichi Ogawa, MD, PhD, of Stanford University Medical Center, and colleagues analyzed data from the commercial U.S. Truven Health MarketScan Database to identify people with private health insurance who had been diagnosed with hep B. To estimate the number of people in the database who had the virus, the study authors relied on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

All told, the database included 198 million privately insured individuals.

The investigators estimated that 511,000 of these individuals had hepatitis B, but only 95,075 (19%) of them had been diagnosed with the virus.

Among those with diagnosed hepatitis B, just 35% of those with cirrhosis and 49% of those with hepatocellular carcinoma (the most common form of liver cancer) were receiving treatment for hep B.

“Further efforts are needed to improve the current situation of poor connection to care for patients with [hepatitis B], especially for those with advanced liver disease,” the study authors concluded.

To read the study, click here.