APHA Annual Meeting, October 2008 - Poster Presentation

An epidemiologic study of hepatitis B infection in Fujianese immigrants of New York City

Background: There is a significantly higher percentage of Chinese new immigrants from coastal 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. Our understanding of HBV epidemiology in Fujianese immigrants in the U.S., however, is quite limited.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze epidemiologic characteristics of HBV-infection in Fujianese community in NYC and examine factors that affect prevalence rates in this population.

METHODS: We conducted retrospective analysis on 650 Fujianese who were screened for the first time for the presence of HBsAg and HBsAb in a community-based city-wide HBV screening program for Asian Americans in NYC, 2005-2007.

RESULTS: The prevalence of HBsAg was 35.2% (95% CI: 31.6-39.0). Participants testing HBsAg+ were more likely to be men (POR=2.2; 95% CI: 1.6-3.2), aged below 40 (POR range 5.1-5.4 compared to age > 60), to have family member HBV-infected (POR=1.6; 95% CI: 1.0-2.6), and to be single (POR=1.6; CI: 1.0-2.5). HBsAg seroprevalence did not differ by length of residence in the U.S.

CONCLUSIONS: Chronic HBV-infection is a major health disparity among Fujian Chinese immigrants in NYC. The overall prevalence is higher than rates reported within China. The rate of infection varied depending on gender, age, infection status of family members, and marital status. Knowledge of these factors may provide more accurate estimates of the undiagnosed burden of HBV-infection among Chinese communities and lead to better allocation of resources to prevent new infections and disease progression in those already infected.

Learning Objectives:
Recognize the disease burden of HBV infection in specific API subgroups.
Understand risk factors associated with HBV infection in specific API subgroups.


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