, Volume 25, Issue 7, pp 694-700,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 20 Mar 2010

Factors Associated with Hepatitis B Testing Among Vietnamese Americans

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.

The preparation of this paper was funded in part through grants from the National Cancer Institute Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (U01 CA 114640) and P01 CA109091-01A1 funded jointly by the National Cancer Institute and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.