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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