Article

Public Health Model for Prevention of Liver Cancer Among Asian Americans

Department of Health, Behavior & Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, 704, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Journal of Community Health (Impact Factor: 1.28). 09/2008; 33(4):199-205. DOI: 10.1007/s10900-008-9091-y
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) account for over half of the 1.3 million chronic hepatitis B cases and for over half of the deaths resulting from chronic hepatitis B infection in United States. There are very few studies published about hepatitis B virus (HBV) data in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. In 2003, the Hepatitis B Initiative-DC (HBI-DC) worked closely with a large Korean church, located in Vienna, Virginia. Their partnership included a pilot-test of a faith-based HBV program, which educates, screens and vaccinates for the HBV. This pilot program was later expanded to include a total of nine Korean and Chinese American churches in this region, plus a Pastor's Conference targeting Asian American pastors from around the United States. During 2003-2006, a total of 1,775 persons were tested for HBV infection through the HBI-DC program. Of all the participants, 2% (n=35) were tested HBV positive (HbsAg+, HbsAb-), 37% (n=651) were HBV negative but protected (HbsAg-, HbsAb+), and 61% (n=1089) were unprotected (HbsAg-, HbsAb-). Most of these unprotected individuals (n=924) received the first vaccination. The proportion of the second vaccination was 88.8% (n=824). About 79% completed 3-shot vaccine series. Our study contributes to the literature by providing an overview of the hepatitis B unprotected rate among Asian American adults. It indicates that culturally integrated liver cancer prevention program will reduce cancer health disparities in high risk immigrant populations.

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Available from: Hee-Soon Juon, Dec 12, 2013
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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.
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