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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2006 May 12;55(18):505-9.

Screening for chronic hepatitis B among Asian/Pacific Islander populations--New York City, 2005.


Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is the most common cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer worldwide. In Asian and western Pacific countries where HBV is endemic, estimated prevalence of chronic HBV infection ranges from 2.4%-16.0%, and liver cancer is a leading cause of mortality. Although population-based prevalence data for Asians/ Pacific Islanders (A/PIs) living in the United States are lacking, they are believed to constitute a sizeable percentage of persons with chronic HBV infection in the United States, a country of low endemicity. To assess the prevalence of chronic HBV infection among A/PI populations living in New York City, the Asian American Hepatitis B Program (AAHBP) conducted a seroprevalence study among persons who participated in an ongoing hepatitis B screening, evaluation, and treatment program. The results indicated that approximately 15% of participants who had not been previously tested had chronic HBV infection; all were born outside the United States. Screening programs are needed in A/PI communities in the United States to identify persons with chronic HBV infection so that they can be referred for appropriate medical management to prevent cirrhosis and liver cancer and so that their susceptible household and sex contacts can receive hepatitis B vaccine.

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