Reducing Liver Cancer Disparities: A Community-Based Hepatitis-B Prevention Program for Asian-American Communities
Hsu, Chiehwen Ed
Hsu CE, Liu CL, Juon HS, Chiu YW, Bawa J, Tillman U, Miller JA, Wang MQ. Reducing Liver Cancer Disparities - A Hepatitis B Preventive Program for the Asian American Community, Montgomery County, Maryland, Journal of National Medical Association. 2007: 99(8), 900-907
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Objectives: Several Asian-American groups are at a higher risk of dying of liver diseases attributable to hepatitis B infection. This culturally diverse community should be well informed of and protected against liver diseases. The present study assesses the knowledge of hepatitis B before and after a hepatitis-B educational program and determines the infection status of an Asian community. Methods: Nine Asian communities of Montgomery County, MD, enrolled in the hepatitis-B prevention rogram between 2005 and 2006. They attended culturally tailored lectures on prevention, completed self-administered pre- and posttests, and received blood screening for the disease. Results: More than 800 Asian Americans participated in the study. Knowledge of prevention was improved after educational delivery. The average infection rate was 4.5%, with Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean groups having higher infection rates. The age group of 36–45 had the highest percentage of carriers (9.1%). Conclusion: Many Asian groups, particularly those of a southeast Asian decent, were subject to a higher probability of hepatitis-B infection. At an increased risk are first-generation Asian immigrants, groups with low immunization rates and those aged 36–45. The findings provide potential directions for focusing preventive interventions on at-risk Asian communities to reduce liver cancer disparities.