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1.  Medical training fails to prepare providers to care for patients with chronic hepatitis B infection 
AIM: To investigate physicians’ knowledge including chronic hepatitis B (CHB) diagnosis, screening, and management in various stages of their training.
METHODS: A voluntary 20-question survey was administered in Santa Clara County, CA where Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) account for a third of the population. Among the 219 physician participants, there were 63 interns, 60 second-year residents, 26 chief residents and 70 attending physicians. The survey asked questions regarding respondents’ demographics, general hepatitis B virus knowledge questions (i.e., transmission, prevalence, diagnostic testing, prevention, and treatment options), as well as, self-reported practice behavior and confidence in knowledge.
RESULTS: Knowledge about screening and managing patients with CHB was poor: only 24% identified the correct tests to screen for CHB, 13% knew the next steps for patients testing positive for CHB, 18% knew the high prevalence rate among API, and 31% knew how to screen for liver cancer. Wald chi-square analysis determined the effect of training level on knowledge; in all cases except for knowledge of liver cancer screening (P = 0.0032), knowledge did not significantly increase with length in residency training or completion of residency.
CONCLUSION: Even in a high-risk region, both medical school and residency training have not adequately prepared physicians in the screening and management of CHB.
PMCID: PMC4462732  PMID: 26078568
Liver cancer; Hepatitis B; Asian Pacific Islander; Liver disease; Health disparity
2.  A genome-wide association study of Hodgkin Lymphoma identifies new susceptibility loci at 2p16.1 (REL), 8q24.21, and 10p14 (GATA3) 
Nature genetics  2010;42(12):1126-1130.
To identify predisposition loci for classical Hodgkin Lymphoma (cHL) we conducted a genome-wide association study of 589 cHL cases and 5,199 controls with validation in 4 independent samples totaling 2,057 cases and 3,416 controls. We identified three new susceptibility loci at 2p16.1 (rs1432295, REL; odds ratio [OR]=1.22, Pcombined=1.91×10−8), 8q24.21 (rs2019960, PVT1; OR=1.33, Pcombined=1.26×10−13) and 10p14 (rs501764, GATA3; OR=1.25, Pcombined=7.05×10−8). Furthermore, we confirmed the role of the MHC in disease etiology by revealing a strong HLA association (rs6903608; OR=1.70, Pcombined=2.84×10−50). These data provide new insight into the pathogenesis of cHL.
PMCID: PMC4268499  PMID: 21037568
3.  “Racial and social class gradients in life expectancy in contemporary California” 
Social science & medicine (1982)  2010;70(9):1373-1380.
Life expectancy, or the estimated average age of death, is among the most basic measures of a population's health. However, monitoring differences in life expectancy among sociodemographically defined populations has been challenging, at least in the United States (US), because death certification does not include collection of markers of socioeconomic status (SES). In order to understand how SES and race/ethnicity independently and jointly affected overall health in a contemporary US population, we assigned a small area-based measure of SES to all 689,036 deaths occurring in California during a three-year period (1999-2001) overlapping the most recent US census. Residence at death was geocoded to the smallest census area available (block group) and assigned to a quintile of a multifactorial SES index. We constructed life tables using mortality rates calculated by age, sex, race/ethnicity and neighborhood SES quintile, and produced corresponding life expectancy estimates. We found a 19.6 (±0.6) year gap in life expectancy between the sociodemographic groups with the longest life expectancy (highest SES quintile of Asian females; 84.9 years) and the shortest (lowest SES quintile of African-American males; 65.3 years). A positive SES gradient in life expectancy was observed among whites and African-Americans but not Hispanics or Asians. Age-specific mortality disparities varied among groups. Race/ethnicity and neighborhood SES had substantial and independent influences on life expectancy, underscoring the importance of monitoring health outcomes simultaneously by these factors. African-American males living in the poorest 20% of California neighborhoods had life expectancy comparable to that reported for males living in developing countries. Neighborhood SES represents a readily available metric for ongoing surveillance of health disparities in the US.
PMCID: PMC2849870  PMID: 20171001
racial disparities; social class disparities; life expectancy; California; population-based; USA; socioeconomic status (SES)
4.  Hepatitis B and liver cancer knowledge and practices among healthcare and public health professionals in China: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:98.
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is the leading cause of liver disease and liver cancer and a major source of health-related discrimination in China. To better target HBV detection and prevention programs, it is necessary to assess existing HBV knowledge, educational resources, reporting, and preventive practices, particularly among those health professionals who would be responsible for implementing such programs.
At the China National Conference on the Prevention and Control of Viral Hepatitis on April 26-29, 2004, the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University partnered with the China Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control to distribute a voluntary written questionnaire to Chinese healthcare and public health professionals from regional and provincial Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health departments, and medical centers. Correct responses to survey questions were summed into a total knowledge score, and multivariate linear regression was used to compare differences in the score by participant characteristics.
Although the median score was 81% correct, knowledge about HBV was inadequate, even among such highly trained health professionals. Of the 250 participants who completed the survey, 34% did not know that chronic HBV infection is often asymptomatic and 29% did not know that chronic HBV infection confers a high risk of cirrhosis, liver cancer, and premature death. Furthermore, 34% failed to recognize all the modes of HBV transmission and 30% did not know the importance of the hepatitis B vaccine in preventing liver disease. Respondents who reported poorer preventive practices, such as not having personally been tested for HBV and not routinely disposing of used medical needles, scored significantly lower in HBV knowledge than those who reported sound preventive practices. Of note, 38% of respondents reported positive HBsAg results to patients' employers and 25% reported positive results to patients' schools, thereby subjecting those with positive results to potential discriminatory practices.
These results indicate that there is a need for development of effective educational programs to improve HBV knowledge among health professionals and the general public to avoid missed vaccination opportunities, reduce misconceptions, and eliminate discrimination based on chronic hepatitis B in China.
PMCID: PMC2847983  PMID: 20184740
5.  Recent trends in breast cancer incidence in US white women by county-level urban/rural and poverty status 
BMC Medicine  2009;7:31.
Unprecedented declines in invasive breast cancer rates occurred in the United States between 2001 and 2004, particularly for estrogen receptor-positive tumors among non-Hispanic white women over 50 years. To understand the broader public health import of these reductions among previously unstudied populations, we utilized the largest available US cancer registry resource to describe age-adjusted invasive and in situ breast cancer incidence trends for non-Hispanic white women aged 50 to 74 years overall and by county-level rural/urban and poverty status.
We obtained invasive and in situ breast cancer incidence data for the years 1997 to 2004 from 29 population-based cancer registries participating in the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries resource. Annual age-adjusted rates were examined overall and by rural/urban and poverty of patients' counties of residence at diagnosis. Joinpoint regression was used to assess trends by annual quarter of diagnosis.
Between 2001 and 2004, overall invasive breast cancer incidence fell 13.2%, with greater reductions among women living in urban (-13.8%) versus rural (-7.5%) and low- (-13.0%) or middle- (-13.8%) versus high- (-9.6%) poverty counties. Most incidence rates peaked around 1999 then declined after second quarter 2002, although in rural counties, rates decreased monotonically after 1999. Similar but more attenuated patterns were seen for in situ cancers.
Breast cancer rates fell more substantially in urban and low-poverty, affluent counties than in rural or high-poverty counties. These patterns likely reflect a major influence of reductions in hormone therapy use after July 2002 but cannot exclude possible effects due to screening patterns, particularly among rural populations where hormone therapy use was probably less prevalent.
PMCID: PMC2714853  PMID: 19558637
6.  Recent breast cancer trends among Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and African-American women in the US: changes by tumor subtype 
Recently, unprecedented drops in breast cancer incidence have been reported for populations of mostly White European descent. Incidence patterns in non-White racial/ethnic groups are less described. Therefore, we examined population-based breast cancer incidence trends separately for US Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, African-American, and non-Hispanic White women by etiologically relevant tumor subtype characteristics, including hormone receptor status, histology, size, and in situ behavior.
We obtained breast cancer data from 13 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cancer registries to calculate age-adjusted incidence rates and trends, stratified by race/ethnicity and tumor subtype for the period 1992–2004. Detailed analyses were limited to women 50 years old or older. Joinpoint regression was used to assess incidence trends by annual quarter of diagnosis.
Between 2001 and 2004, incidence rates of invasive breast cancer in women 50 years old or older declined appreciably among Asians/Pacific Islanders (-8.5%) and Hispanics (-2.9%) and were stable in African-Americans (+0.5%), reductions substantially lower than those observed among non-Hispanic Whites (-14.3%). In Asian/Pacific Islander women, perceptible but statistically nonsignificant decreases were observed for hormone receptor-positive, lobular, and small tumors only. Rates of hormone receptor-negative tumors increased among African-Americans (26.1%) and Hispanics (26.9%) during 2001–2004. Incidence trends in most groups, except African-American women, peaked between 1999 and mid-2002. Rates of in situ cancer remained stable in all groups.
Recently reported reductions in breast cancer incidence varied considerably by race/ethnicity. These patterns are consistent with documented racial/ethnic differences in the prevalence and discontinuation of hormone therapy (HT) after July 2002 but do not correspond as well to patterns of mammography use in these groups. The data presented in this analysis provide further evidence that population-level HT use is a major influence on population-level rates of particular breast cancer subtypes, especially receptor-positive tumors.
PMCID: PMC2246193  PMID: 18162138
7.  Recent changes in breast cancer incidence and risk factor prevalence in San Francisco Bay area and California women: 1988 to 2004 
Historically, the incidence rate of breast cancer among non-Hispanic white women living in the San Francisco Bay area (SFBA) of California has been among the highest in the world. Substantial declines in breast cancer incidence rates have been documented in the United States and elsewhere during recent years. In light of these reports, we examined recent changes in breast cancer incidence and risk factor prevalence among non-Hispanic white women in the SFBA and other regions of California.
Annual age-adjusted breast cancer incidence and mortality rates (1988 to 2004) were obtained from the California Cancer Registry and analyzed using Joinpoint regression. Population-based risk factor prevalences were calculated using two data sources: control subjects from four case-control studies (1989 to 1999) and the 2001 and 2003 California Health Interview Surveys.
In the SFBA, incidence rates of invasive breast cancer increased 1.3% per year (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7% to 2.0%) in 1988–1999 and decreased 3.6% per year (95% CI, 1.6% to 5.6%) in 1999–2004. In other regions of California, incidence rates of invasive breast cancer increased 0.8% per year (95% CI, 0.4% to 1.1%) in 1988–2001 and decreased 4.4% per year (95% CI, 1.4% to 7.3%) in 2001–2004. In both regions, recent (2000–2001 to 2003–2004) decreases in invasive breast cancer occurred only in women 40 years old or older and in women with all histologic subtypes and tumor sizes, hormone receptor-defined types, and all stages except distant disease. Mortality rates declined 2.2% per year (95% CI, 1.8% to 2.6%) from 1988 to 2004 in the SFBA and the rest of California. Use of estrogen-progestin hormone therapy decreased significantly from 2001 to 2003 in both regions. In 2003–2004, invasive breast cancer incidence remained higher (4.2%) in the SFBA than in the rest of California, consistent with the higher distributions of many established risk factors, including advanced education, nulliparity, late age at first birth, and alcohol consumption.
Ongoing surveillance of breast cancer occurrence patterns in this high-risk population informs breast cancer etiology through comparison of trends with lower-risk populations and by highlighting the importance of examining how broad migration patterns influence the geographic distribution of risk factors.
PMCID: PMC2829782  PMID: 20210979

Results 1-7 (7)