Hepatitis B knowledge among Vietnamese immigrants: Implications for prevention of hepatocellular carcinoma

Victoria M. Taylor, J. Carey Jackson, Michele Pineda, Phat Pham, Meredith Fischer, Yutaka Yasui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Background. Vietnamese have higher liver cancer rates than any other racial/ethnic group in the United States. Approximately 80% of liver cancers are etiologically associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, which is endemic in Southeast Asia. Methods. A telephone survey of randomly selected Vietnamese households (n = 75) was conducted during 1998 to examine HBV knowledge among Seattle's Vietnamese community. The questionnaire included items related to the transmission of HBV, the possible sequelae of infection, and disease prevention. Results. The response rate was 70% among reachable and eligible households. Prior to being provided with a description of the disease, two thirds of our respondents had heard of HBV infection. Less than 60% knew that asymptomatic individuals can transmit the disease to others. Most thought that HBV infection can cause liver cancer (63%) and death (80%). However, only a minority knew that infection can be lifelong (38%) and incurable (22%). Finally, 28% had never heard of the HBV vaccine. There were significant associations between knowledge and educational level as well as home ownership. Conclusions. The findings suggest that Vietnamese imigrants have low levels of knowledge about HBV infection, and indicate a need for targeted educational interventions aimed at reducing HBV-related liver cancer mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-55
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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