187304 Hepatitis B infection in Fujianese immigrants of New York City: Assessment of risk exposures, knowledge and practices

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thomas Tsang, MD, MPH , Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, New York, NY
Alex Sherman, MD , New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
Henry Pollack, MD , New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
Kejia Wan, MPH , New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
Eric Poon, MD , NY Downtown Hospital, New York, NY
Ming-der Chang, phD , American Cancer Society, Flushing, NY
Hillel Tobias, MD , New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
Mariano Rey, MD , New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
BACKGROUND: The burden of HBV infection disproportionately affects Chinese populations in NYC, particularly Chinese immigrants from Fujian province, an area reported to have the highest HBV infection rate in China, average 17.1% and can be as high as 27.5% in coastal regions. Little information is available among young adults in this population regarding their risk exposures, knowledge, attitudes and practices towards hepatitis B. METHODS: 698 Fujianese aged 18-30 participated in a community-based large-scale screening conducted by Asian American Hepatitis B Program (AAHBP) during 2005-2007 in NYC. All screening participants were asked to take a survey before blood testing. Trained Chinese interviewers collected the surveys by reviewing the questionnaires with participants. RESULTS: Risk Exposures: 28.9% reported having a family member HBV-infected: Mother (7.1%), spouse (10.8%), other family contact (25.4%). Sexual risk behavior was another major exposure: 6.7% reported having unprotected sex with known HBV-infected person. 6.7% of men reported to have tattoo. Knowledge: Overall knowledge was low with a mean score of 29 out of maximum100. Healthcare Practices: Increased knowledge was significantly related to prior HBV testing or vaccination, and willingness to open discussion with families or friends, and seek follow-up care or treatment if diagnosed with HBV infection. Those who had a regular doctor did not show higher knowledge. DISCUSSION: Given the implication of hepatitis B to Fujianese immigrant population in NYC, we found the level of hepatitis B knowledge among this population is not sufficient to influence their good practices towards hepatitis B. Further education is much needed.

Learning Objectives:
Understand risk exposures, knowledge, attitudes and practices towards hepatitis B in specific API subgroups. Apply knowledge of these factors to future HBV outreach and educational programs.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: M.D.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.