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NIH conference on management of hepatitis B slated for October

Bethesda, Md.—The National Institutes of Health will convene a consensus development conference Oct. 20-22 to assess available evidence on the management of hepatitis B. An independent panel will prepare a conference statement on the basis of a systematic literature review, expert presentations and audience commentary.

While much is known about hepatitis B, a major cause of liver disease, treatment and research questions remain. The NIH conference seeks consensus on such "important issues" as disease burden, natural history, benefits and risks of current therapeutic options, which persons should be treated, disease management and outcomes.

Data from the ADA Foundation Research Institute's health screening program at the 2007 annual session indicate that dentists have a high compliance rate with recommendations for hepatitis B immunization. Some 93 percent of HSP dentists reported that they had been vaccinated (ADAFRI summary of 2007 health screenings). Offered at annual session for 45 years, the HSP is undergoing a "retooling" and will miss this year's San Antonio session to return for the 2009 session in Honolulu.

The NIH consensus conference will be held in the Natcher Building on the main campus in Bethesda near Washington, D.C.