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Hepatitis B testing among Vietnamese American men

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Vietnamese American men are over 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with liver cancer than their white counterparts. This health disparity is attributable to high rates of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Our study objective was to examine factors associated with HBV testing among Vietnamese men. A population-based survey was conducted in Seattle. The questionnaire content was guided by an earlier qualitative study and the Health Behavior Framework. The survey was completed by 345 men (response rate: 80%). About one-third (34%) of the respondents reported they had not been tested for HBV. The following factors were associated (P < 0.01) with previous testing in bivariate comparisons: having a regular source of care and regular provider; knowing that HBV can be spread during childbirth; believing HBV can cause liver cancer; and doctor(s) had recommended testing as well as had asked doctor(s) for testing. Three variables were independently associated with HBV testing in a logistic regression model: regular source of care (OR = 4.5; 95% CI = 2.6–7.9), physician recommendation (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.3–4.0), and knowing HBV can be spread during childbirth (OR = 2.1; 95% CI = 1.2–3.9). Low levels of HBV testing remain a public health problem in some Vietnamese American sub-groups. Health education about HBV transmission may stimulate patients to seek testing. Intervention programs should specifically target Vietnamese men without a regular source of health care and physicians who serve Vietnamese communities.

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