Hepatitis B Prevalence Among Asian Americans in Michigan: An Assessment to Guide Future Education and Intervention Strategies

Programs for Multicultural Health, University of Michigan Health System, 2025 Traverwood Dr, Ste 1512, Ann Arbor, MI 48105-2197, USA.
Journal of Community Health (Impact Factor: 1.28). 03/2010; 35(5):534-42. DOI: 10.1007/s10900-010-9237-6
Source: PubMed


Free HBV (hepatitis B virus) screening was offered at 8 health fairs to Asian Americans in Southeast and West Michigan for two and a half years as a community service to study the prevalence of hepatitis B among Asian Americans in Michigan as a first step in reducing the incidence of hepatitis B. The screening included a 4 ml blood sample and a questionnaire assessing demographics and family history of hepatitis B; tests included the HBV surface antigen and antibody. 567 people participated in the study. About 6% of the participants had chronic hepatitis B (HBV carriers), 54% had the antibody (either had the disease before or were vaccinated) and 40% had no antibody or antigen (never infected by HBV and should be vaccinated to get protection). More than 95% of the participants were immigrants. Participants indicated in the family history that 10% had relatives with hepatitis B, 5% with liver cirrhosis, and 3% with liver cancer. Results of our screening supported our hypothesis that prevalence of hepatitis B among Asian Americans in Michigan would be similar to that in Asian Americans on the East and West coasts. We need to develop a strategy in Michigan to address this disease. In conducting this study, it was noticed that there was still resistance by Asian Americans to participate in clinical studies. An education intervention that is delivered in native Asian languages and in a culturally sensitive manner is needed to effectively raise awareness of hepatitis B among Asian Americans.

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    • "The noted “resistance by Asian Americans to participate in clinical studies” [41] prompted recommendations for educational interventions to be developed in native Asian languages, rather than using translated English resources [41]. Although previous research suggested that Asian Americans prefer to access health information from health care providers speaking their language [63], programs providing access to health specialists speaking Asian languages and offering screening incentives did not achieve a great deal of success [34]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) affects over 350 million people worldwide and can lead to life-threatening complications, including liver failure and hepatocellular cancer (HCC). Modern antiviral therapies could stem the rising tide of hepatitis B-related HCC, provided that individuals and populations at risk can be reliably identified through hepatitis B screening and appropriately linked to care. Opportunistic disease screening cannot deliver population-level outcomes, given the large number of undiagnosed people, but they may be achievable through well-organized and targeted community-based screening interventions. Material and methods This review summarizes the experience with community-based CHB screening programs published in the English-language literature over the last 30 years. Results They include experiences from Taiwan, the USA, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Australia. Despite great variability in program setting and design, successful programs shared common features, including effective community engagement incorporating the target population’s cultural values and the ability to provide low-cost or free access to care, including antiviral treatment. Conclusion While many questions still remain about the best funding mechanisms to ensure program sustainability and what the most effective strategies are to ensure program reach, linkage to care, and access to treatment, the evidence suggests scope for cautious optimism. A number of successful, large-scale initiatives in the USA, Asia–Pacific, and Europe demonstrated the feasibility of community-based interventions in effectively screening large numbers of people with CHB. By providing an effective mechanism for community outreach, scaling up these interventions could deliver population-level outcomes in liver cancer prevention relevant for many countries with a large burden of disease.
    Hepatology International 10/2014; 8(4):478-492. DOI:10.1007/s12072-014-9562-4 · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    • "A retrospective study conducted in St. Paul, Minnesota found that Hmong Americans have an 18% prevalence of HBV, with the rate of infection being highest among patients who were between 15 and 19 years of age [15]. Another retrospective study from Michigan reported that Hmong Americans had the highest prevalence rate of HBV infection among those screened [16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic hepatitis B infection (HBV) is the major cause of primary liver cancer worldwide and Asians are disproportionately affected. The prevalence of HBV among most Asian American groups has been well documented, except in Hmong immigrants in the United States. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of HBV among Hmong immigrants in the San Joaquin Valley of California. A convenient sample of 534 Hmong age ≥18 years was recruited at various locations throughout Fresno County. Blood samples from study participants were collected and tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) by enzyme-immunoassay. Two hundred and eighty-nine females and 245 males of Hmong descent (mean age, 43.93) were screened. Eighty-nine (41 males and 48 females) were positive for HBsAg, which accounts for a prevalence of 16.7% (95% C.I. 13.5-19.9). The majorities of HBsAg positive patients were ≥40 years (64.2%), married (66.7%), born in Laos (87.3%), and had lived in the United States ≥20 years (62.5%). Only 37.5% of the participants reported having a primary care physician. Our study revealed that approximately one out of every six Hmong immigrants screened was infected with HBV. Based on our findings, more than one-third of these infected patients have no primary care physician to provide further treatment, surveillance for liver cancer, or vaccination of their families. This supports the Institute of Medicine's recent recommendations to the Center for Disease Control to engage in a national Hepatitis B surveillance system.
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