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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2007 Jan-Mar;8(1):127-34.

Hepatitis B and liver cancer knowledge and preventive practices among Asian Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

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Asian Liver Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection causes liver cancer and disproportionately affects the Asian community in the U.S. In order to advance HBV and liver cancer awareness and prevention, it is important to identify existing gaps in knowledge and preventive practices among Asian Americans. Therefore, the authors administered a written questionnaire to 199 adults in the Asian-American community of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Although the majority of adults had at least a college education, knowledge regarding HBV transmission, prevention, symptoms, risks, and occurrence was low. Fewer than 60% reported having been tested for HBV, only 31% reported having been vaccinated against HBV, and only 44% reported having had their children vaccinated. Asians, especially those born in China or Southeast Asia, had significantly poorer knowledge regarding HBV and liver cancer than non-Asians. Those with higher knowledge levels were significantly more likely to have been tested for HBV and to have had their children vaccinated. Younger adults, women, Caucasians, more highly educated individuals, those not born in China or Hong Kong, and those with a personal or family history of liver disease were more likely to have taken preventive action against HBV. Our results suggest that HBV and liver cancer knowledge among Asian Americans, especially Chinese Americans, is poor, and that better knowledge is associated with increased preventive practices. Thus, there is a need for increased HBV education and improved community-based interventions to prevent HBV-related liver disease in the high-risk Asian-American community.

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