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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2006 Apr-Jun;7(2):313-7.

Hepatitis B knowledge and practices among Chinese immigrants to the United States.

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Cancer Prevention Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.



Chinese immigrants to the United States experience high rates of liver cancer. Chronic carriage of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the most common underlying cause of liver cancer among Chinese Americans. Our objective was to describe Chinese immigrants' hepatitis B knowledge, testing, and vaccination levels.


A community-based, in-person survey of Chinese men and women was conducted in Seattle during 2005. Our study sample included 395 individuals.


Less than one-half (48%) of our study group indicated they had received a hepatitis B blood test, and about one-third (31%) indicated they had been vaccinated against hepatitis B. The proportions of respondents who knew HBV can be spread during childbirth, during sexual intercourse, and by sharing razors were 70%, 54%, and 55%, respectively. Less than one-quarter of the study group knew that HBV cannot be spread by eating food that was prepared by an infected person (23%) and by sharing eating utensils with an infected person (16%).


Over 50% of our respondents did not recall being tested for HBV. Important knowledge deficits about routes of hepatitis B transmission were identified. Continued efforts should be made to develop and implement hepatitis B educational campaigns for Chinese immigrant communities.

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