Latinos in the US are disproportionately affected by chronic liver disease, which is the sixth most common cause of death among this group. In Mexico, cirrhosis and other liver diseases are the fourth leading cause of general mortality. The objective of this study was to contrast the liver disease risk factors, knowledge, and prevention practices reported among separate samples of Mexicans living in Los Angeles, CA and in Cuernavaca, Mexico. We assessed the prevalence of specific risk factors (body mass index, waist circumference, and alcohol consumption), the level of knowledge about liver disease in general, hepatitis B (HBV), and hepatitis C (HCV), as well as prevention activities such as screening and vaccination. Data were collected from in-person interviews and anthropometric measures obtained from Mexican adults aged 18-70 years. Chi-square and t tests were used to compare the results between groups. Numerous similarities were observed in the bi-national samples, including high prevalence of obesity, abdominal obesity, and high levels of alcohol consumption. Most participants in both countries recognized that excessive alcohol consumption is a risk factor for liver disease, but only 60% correctly identified hepatitis C, being overweight or obese, or having diabetes as risk factors. Few participants reported having been screened for HBV or HCV, vaccinated for HBV, or having the intention of getting screened for HBV or HCV. US participants reported significantly higher levels of prevention activities and screening intentions than those in Mexico. Identifying the specific risk factors, levels of knowledge and prevention activities that affect specific racial/ethnic populations is important in order to effectively target efforts to prevent liver disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Globally, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection leads to liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, which in turn causes resultant hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Frequently, HCC recurs very soon even after a potentially curative treatment such as surgical interference or locoregional ablative therapies. Chronic HBV/HCV infection is often responsible for this recurrence, through secondary carcinogenesis. Antiviral therapy after a curative treatment of HCC plays an important role in preventing or delaying recurrence and improves survival in patients with HBV/HCV infection-related HCC. This article reviews the worldwide epidemiology of HBV/HCV infection, the association of viral infection with HCC, the mechanism of hepatitis virus-related hepatocarcinogenesis, and the paramount importance of antiviral therapy in the management of HCC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the knowledge and preventive practices regarding hepatitis and liver disease among a sample of participants in the Mexican Health Worker Cohort Study.
The study population consisted of 892 participants from Cuernavaca, Mexico. Demographic characteristics, knowledge about hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and liver disease in general, as well as information about prevention practices were obtained from self-reported questionnaires. Participants were grouped into categories that were created using information about their professional background and patient contact status. Knowledge and prevention practices were compared within these categories.
Inadequate levels of knowledge and preventive practices were found, even within the more highly educated group. Nearly 57 % of the participants had inadequate knowledge about liver disease in general, while 76 and 79 % had inadequate knowledge about Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV), respectively. For general liver disease, the mean knowledge score increased significantly with education, history of HCV screening, and low alcohol consumption.
Health workers should be better educated about hepatitis and liver disease so they can reduce their own risk and share their knowledge of how to prevent liver disease with patients.
International Journal of Public Health 10/2013; 59(2). DOI:10.1007/s00038-013-0515-9 · 2.70 Impact Factor
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