The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4186.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 3:00 PM

Abstract #55192

Differences in risk perception for selected cancers and chronic diseases among low-income Chinese, Hispanic, and Black primary care patients

Erica Ilene Lubetkin, MD, MPH1, Annabel Santana, MPH1, Joshua Muscat, PhD2, and Haomiao Jia, PhD1. (1) Department of Community Health and Social Medicine, CUNY Medical School/Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, 138th Street and Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031, (2) Institute for Cancer Prevention, 1 Dana Road, Valhalla, NY 10595

BACKGROUND: Scarce research has been conducted on self-reported risk perceptions for selected cancers and chronic diseases among Chinese, Hispanic, and Black patients. Although cancer incidence rates tend to be higher among Blacks, and are of a roughly similar magnitude among Hispanics and Chinese, patients might not perceive their risk accordingly. Similarly, patients may overestimate their risk of developing these diseases when reporting risk as a percentage. METHODS: We surveyed Chinese patients at a CHC in Queens and Hispanic and Black patients at a CHC in Manhattan. RESULTS: 1172 patients were approached and 862 (73.2%) participated-- 362 (43.5%) were Chinese, 273 (32.8%) were Hispanic, and 198 (23.8%) were Black. The mean age was 47.4 years and 63% were female. More than 62% earned < $15,000 and 69.5% were born outside the U.S. Chinese patients reported lower perceptions than did Hispanic or Blacks of developing a given disease (p<0.001 for all diseases). After adjusting for multiple variables, Chinese patients continued to perceive being less likely to develop breast, cervical, colorectal, liver, and lung cancer and asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and tuberculosis compared with Blacks and Hispanics. However, patients tended to overestimate their probability of developing these diseases, with rare diseases (i.e. liver cancer, tuberculosis) overestimated more than common diseases (i.e. heart disease). CONCLUSIONS: Understanding differences in perception of risk among underserved populations will facilitate targeted risk communication. Although patients had difficulty in understanding the percentage chance of developing a given disease, the magnitude of this overestimation was greatest for rare diseases.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Asian Americans, Risk Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The Documentation, Measurement, and Amelioration of Health Disparities Within API Populations

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA