Original Article

Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 25, Issue 7, pp 694-700

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Factors Associated with Hepatitis B Testing Among Vietnamese Americans

  • Tung T. NguyenAffiliated withDivision of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco Email author 
  • , Stephen J. McPheeAffiliated withDivision of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • , Susan StewartAffiliated withDivision of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • , Ginny GildengorinAffiliated withDivision of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • , Lena ZhangAffiliated withSan Francisco State University
  • , Ching WongAffiliated withDivision of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • , Annette E. MaxwellAffiliated withSchool of Public Health and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles
  • , Roshan BastaniAffiliated withSchool of Public Health and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles
  • , Vicky M. TaylorAffiliated withCancer Prevention Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
    • , Moon S. ChenJrAffiliated withDepartment of Internal Medicine, University of California, Davis Cancer Center

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis B-associated liver cancer is a major health disparity among Vietnamese Americans, who have a chronic hepatitis B prevalence rate of 7–14% and an incidence rate for liver cancer six times that of non-Latino whites.

OBJECTIVE

Describe factors associated with hepatitis B testing among Vietnamese Americans.

DESIGN

A population-based telephone survey conducted in 2007–2008.

PARTICIPANTS

Vietnamese Americans age 18–64 and living in the Northern California and Washington, DC areas (N = 1,704).

MAIN MEASURES

Variables included self-reports of sociodemographics, health care factors, and hepatitis B-related behaviors, knowledge, beliefs, and communication with others. The main outcome variable was self-reported receipt of hepatitis B testing.

KEY RESULTS

The cooperation rate was 63.1% and the response rate was 27.4%. Only 62% of respondents reported having received a hepatitis B test and 26%, hepatitis B vaccination. Only 54% knew that hepatitis B could be transmitted by sexual intercourse. In multivariable analyses, factors negatively associated with testing included: age 30–49 years, US residence for >10 years, less Vietnamese fluency, lower income, and believing that hepatitis B can be deadly. Factors positively associated with testing included: Northern California residence, having had hepatitis B vaccination, having discussed hepatitis B with family/friends, and employer requested testing. Physician recommendation of hepatitis B testing (OR 4.46, 95% CI 3.36, 5.93) and respondent's request for hepatitis B testing (OR 8.37, 95% CI 5.95, 11.78) were strongly associated with test receipt.

CONCLUSION

Self-reports of hepatitis B testing among Vietnamese Americans remain unacceptably low. Physician recommendation and patient request were the factors most strongly associated with test receipt. A comprehensive effort is needed to promote hepatitis B testing in this population, including culturally-targeted community outreach, increased access to testing, and physician education.

KEY WORDS

hepatitis B Vietnamese Americans testing