Asian Health Disparities and Hepatitis B in the Era of Elimination

Presenter: Su Wang, MD, MPH

Medical Directorsu wang square

Center for Asian Health

Saint Barnabas Medical Center

Date: April 4, 2017


More than half of the people infected with hepatitis B in America are Asian, despite this population having above average education and income.  This leads to their increased incidence of and mortality from liver cancer.  As many as 2 out of 3 patients with chronic hepatitis B may be unaware they are infected because it is often asymptomatic and doctors are under-screening.  Dr. Su Wang discusses the disparities faced by the Asian population around hepatitis B and its associated complications, with a particular focus on the Asian population in New Jersey and the community partnerships that have been formed there to increase screening, vaccination, and treatment of hepatitis in this population. These disparities are a result of a combination of factors, including language barriers, cultural health traditions, being less likely than other ethnic groups to practice preventive care, and general clinical disparities (such as the diabetes epidemic occurring in this population).  Dr. Wang also details the work being done by the WHO and the World Hepatitis Alliance in the #NoHep campaign in their effort to eradicate the public health problem of hepatitis B and hepatitis C by 2030.

Reflection Questions

  • What health disparities affect Asian communities and what are the contributors?
  • What are some of the growing health issues that affect Asian populations?
  • How do we reconcile the hepatitis B screening and linkage-to-care gaps in the era of elimination?

Council on Linkages Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals (2014 Version)

  • Primary Competency Domain: Policy Development/Program Planning
  • Specific competencies: 1A1, 1A2, 1A3, 1A4, 1A5, 1A6, 1A7, 1A9, 1A11, 1A12, 1A13, 1B1, 1B3, 1B4, 1B10, 1B15, 1C1, 1C4, 1C9, 1C15, 2A1, 2A5, 2A6, 2A7, 2A8, 2A9, 2A12, 2B2, 2B5, 2B8, 2B9, 2B10, 2B11, 2B13, 2C11, 3A1, 3A2, 3A3, 3A4, 3A5, 3A7, 3A8, 3B2, 3B3, 3B4, 3B5, 3B7, 3B8, 3C1, 3C2, 3C5, 3C7, 3C8, 4A1, 4A2, 4A3, 4A5, 4A6, 4B1, 4B2, 4B3, 4B8, 4C1, 4C2, 4C3, 4C4, 5A3, 5A5, 5A8, 5A9, 5B3, 5B4, 5B6, 5B9, 5B10, 5C1, 5C2, 5C3, 5C4,6A5, 6A6, 6A8, 6A9, 6B3, 6B4, 6B7, 6B9, 6C5, 6C9, 7A1, 7A2, 7A4, 7B1, 8A1, 8A2, 8A4, 8A5, 8A6, 8A9, 8B1, 8B2, 8B3, 8B4, 8B10, 8C1, 8C3, 8C4, 8C10

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