The distribution of breast cancer molecular subtypes has been shown to vary by race/ethnicity, highlighting the importance of host factors in breast tumor biology. We undertook the current analysis to determine population-based distributions of breast cancer subtypes among six ethnic Asian groups in California. We defined immunohistochemical (IHC) surrogates for each breast cancer subtype among Chinese, Japanese, Filipina, Korean, Vietnamese, and South Asian patients diagnosed with incident, primary, invasive breast cancer between 2002 and 2007 in the California Cancer Registry as: hormone receptor-positive (HR+)/HER2− [estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) and/or progesterone receptor-positive (PR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2−)], triple-negative (ER−, PR−, and HER2−), and HER2-positive (ER±, PR±, and HER2+). We calculated frequencies of breast cancer subtypes among Asian ethnic groups and evaluated their associations with clinical and demographic factors. Complete IHC data were available for 8,140 Asian women. Compared to non-Hispanic White women, Korean [odds ratio (OR) = 1.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.5–2.2], Filipina (OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.2–1.5), Vietnamese (OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.1–1.6), and Chinese (OR =1.1, 95% CI = 1.0–1.3) women had a significantly increased risk of being diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer subtypes after adjusting for age, stage, grade, socioeconomic status, histology, diagnosis year, nativity, and hospital ownership status. We report a significant ethnic disparity in HER2-positive breast cancer in a large population-based cohort enriched for Asian-Americans. Given the poor prognosis and high treatment costs of HER2-positive breast cancer, our results have implications for healthcare resource utilization, cancer biology, and clinical care.
Breast cancer subtypes; Asian; Ethnicity; HER2-positive breast cancer; Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer; Triple-negative breast cancer
Our aim was to determine the incidence rates of head and neck cancer in Vietnamese Californians compared with other Asian and non-Asian Californians.
Age-adjusted incidence rates of head and neck cancer between 1988 and 2004 were computed for Vietnamese Californians compared with other racial/ethnic groups by time period, ethnicity, neighborhood-level socioeconomic status (SES), and sex using data from the population-based California Cancer Registry (CCR). Data by smoking and alcohol status were tabulated from the California Health Interview Survey.
Vietnamese men had a higher incidence rate of head and neck cancer than other Asian men. Specifically, the laryngeal cancer rate was significantly higher for Vietnamese men (6.5/100,000; 95% confidence interval [CI], 5.0–8.2) than all other Asian men (range, 2.6–3.8/100,000), except Korean men (5.1/100,000; 95% CI, 3.9–6.4). Both Vietnamese and Korean men had the highest percentage of current smokers. Neighborhood SES was inversely related to head and neck cancer rates among Vietnamese men and women.
The higher incidence rate of head and neck cancer in Vietnamese men may correspond to the higher smoking prevalence in this group. Individual-level data are needed to establish the link of tobacco, alcohol, and other risk factors with head and neck cancer in these patients.
head and neck cancer; Vietnamese; tobacco; socioeconomic status; immigrant status
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.
We examined oral contraceptive (OC) and menopausal hormonal therapy (MHT) use in relation to risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Women under age 85 years participating in the California Teachers Study with no history of hematopoietic cancer were followed from 1995 through 2007. 516 of 114,131 women eligible for OC use analysis and 402 of 54,758 postmenopausal women eligible for MHT use analysis developed B-cell NHL. Multivariable adjusted and stratified Cox proportional hazards models were fit to estimate relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Ever versus never OC use was marginally associated with lower B-cell NHL risk, particularly among women first using OCs before age 25 years (RR=0.72, 95%CI=0.51-0.99); yet, no duration-response effect was observed. No association was observed for ever versus never MHT use among postmenopausal women (RR=1.05, 95%CI=0.83-1.33) overall, or by formulation (estrogen alone, ET, or estrogen plus progestin, EPT). Among women with no MHT use, having bilateral oophorectomy plus hysterectomy was associated with greater B-cell NHL risk than having natural menopause (RR=3.15, 95%CI=1.62-6.13). Bilateral oophorectomy plus hysterectomy was not associated with risk among women who used ET or EPT. These results indicate that exogenous hormone use does not strongly influence B-cell NHL risk.
non-Hodgkin lymphoma; oral contraceptives; menopausal hormonal therapy; hysterectomy; bilateral oophorectomy
We examined whether dietary intake of isoflavones, lignans, isothiocyanates, antioxidants, or specific foods rich in these compounds is associated with reduced risk of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), multiple myeloma (MM), or Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) in a large, prospective cohort of women.
Between 1995-1996 and December 31, 2007, among 110,215 eligible members of the California Teachers Study cohort, 536 women developed incident B-cell NHL, 104 developed MM, and 34 developed HL. Cox proportional hazards regression, with age as the time-scale, was used to estimate adjusted rate ratios (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for risk of lymphoid malignancies.
Weak inverse associations with risk of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma were observed for isothiocyanates (RR for ≥12.1 vs. <2.7 mcM/day=0.67, 95% CI: 0.43-1.05) and an antioxidant index measuring hydroxyl radical absorbance capacity (RR for ≥2.2 vs. <0.9 μM Trolox equiv/g/day=0.68, 95% CI: 0.42-1.10; ptrend=0.08). Risk of other NHL subtypes, overall B-cell NHL, MM, or HL was not generally associated with dietary intake of isoflavones, lignans, isothiocyanates, antioxidants, or major food sources of these compounds.
Isoflavones, lignans, isothiocyanates, and antioxidant compounds are not associated with risk of most B-cell malignancies, but some phytocompounds may decrease risk of selected subtypes.
lymphoma; diet; isothiocyanates; antioxidants; cohort studies
Several previous studies found inverse associations between alcohol consumption and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma. However, most studies were retrospective, and few distinguished former drinkers or infrequent drinkers from consistent nondrinkers. Therefore, the authors investigated whether history of alcohol drinking affected risks of NHL and multiple myeloma among 102,721 eligible women in the California Teachers Study, a prospective cohort study in which 496 women were diagnosed with B-cell NHL and 101 were diagnosed with multiple myeloma between 1995–1996 and December 31, 2007. Incidence rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression. Risk of all types of B-cell NHL combined or multiple myeloma was not associated with self-reported past consumption of alcohol, beer, wine, or liquor at ages 18–22 years, at ages 30–35 years, or during the year before baseline. NHL subtypes were inconsistently associated with alcohol intake. However, women who were former alcohol drinkers at baseline were at elevated risk of overall B-cell NHL (rate ratio = 1.46, 95% confidence interval: 1.08, 1.97) and follicular lymphoma (rate ratio = 1.81, 95% confidence interval: 1.00, 3.28). The higher risk among former drinkers emphasizes the importance of classifying both current and past alcohol consumption and suggests that factors related to quitting drinking, rather than alcohol itself, may increase B-cell NHL risk.
alcohol drinking; cohort studies; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; multiple myeloma
Asians and Hispanics have the highest incidence rates of liver cancer in the US, but little is known about how incidence patterns in these largely immigrant populations vary by nativity, acculturation, and socioeconomic status (SES). Such variations can identify high-priority subgroups for prevention and monitoring.
Incidence rates and rate ratios (IRRs) by nativity among 5,400 Hispanics and 5,809 Asians diagnosed with liver cancer in 1988–2004 were calculated in the California Cancer Registry. Neighborhood ethnic enclave status and SES were classified using 2000 US Census data for cases diagnosed in 1998–2002.
Foreign-born Hispanic males had significantly lower liver cancer incidence rates than US-born Hispanic males in 1988–2004 (e.g., IRR=0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.50–0.59), whereas foreign-born Hispanic females had significantly higher rates in 1988–1996 (IRR=1.42, 95% CI=1.18–1.71), but not 1997–2004. Foreign-born Asian males and females had up to 5-fold higher rates than the US-born. Among Hispanic females, incidence rates were elevated by 21% in higher-enclave versus lower-enclave neighborhoods, and by 24% in lower- versus higher-SES neighborhoods. Among Asian males, incidence rates were elevated by 23% in higher-enclave neighborhoods and by 21% in lower-SES neighborhoods. In both racial/ethnic populations, males and females in higher-enclave, lower-SES neighborhoods had higher incidence rates.
Nativity, residential enclave status, and neighborhood SES characterize Hispanics and Asians with significantly unequal incidence rates of liver cancer, implicating behavioral or environmental risk factors and revealing opportunities for prevention.
Liver cancer control efforts should especially target foreign-born Asians, US-born Hispanic men, and residents of lower-SES ethnic enclaves.
To investigate whether obesity and hormone therapy (HT) are associated with ovarian cancer risk among women in the California Teachers Study cohort.
Of 56,091 women age ≥45 years, 277 developed epithelial ovarian cancer between 1995 and 2007. Multivariate Cox regression was performed.
Among women who never used HT, greater adult weight gain, waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio, but not adult BMI, increased risk of ovarian cancer. Compared to women who never used HT and had a stable adult weight, risk of ovarian cancer was increased in women who gained ≥40 lb (relative risk (RR) 1.8, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0–3.0) or used HT for >5 years (RR 2.3 95% CI: 1.3–4.1). Having both exposures (RR 1.9, 95% CI: 0.99–3.5), however, did not increase risk more than having either alone. Results were similar for waist circumference and weight-to-height ratio; however, differences across HT groups were not statistically significant.
This study suggests that abdominal adiposity and weight gain, but not overall obesity, increase ovarian cancer risk and that there may be a threshold level beyond which additional hormones, whether exogenous or endogenous, do not result in additional elevation in risk. However, large pooled analyses are needed to confirm these findings.
Ovarian cancer; Obesity; Abdominal adiposity; Hormone therapy
Few studies have considered the joint association of body mass index (BMI) and physical activity, two modifiable factors, with all-cause mortality after breast cancer diagnosis. Women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer (n=4,153) between 1991 and 2000 were enrolled in the Breast Cancer Family Registry through population-based sampling in Northern California, USA; Ontario, Canada; and Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. During a median follow-up of 7.8 years, 725 deaths occurred. Baseline questionnaires assessed moderate and vigorous recreational physical activity and BMI prior to diagnosis. Associations with all-cause mortality were assessed using Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusting for established prognostic factors. Compared with no physical activity, any recreational activity during the three years prior to diagnosis was associated with a 34% lower risk of death (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.66, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.51-0.85) for women with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors, but not those with ER-negative tumors; this association did not appear to differ by race/ethnicity or BMI. Lifetime physical activity was not associated with all-cause mortality. BMI was positively associated with all-cause mortality for women diagnosed at age ≥50 years with ER-positive tumors (compared with normal-weight women, HR for overweight = 1.39, 95% CI: 0.90-2.15; HR for obese = 1.77, 95% CI: 1.11-2.82). BMI associations did not appear to differ by race/ethnicity. Our findings suggest that physical activity and BMI exert independent effects on overall mortality after breast cancer.
breast cancer; physical activity; body mass index; obesity; mortality
To investigate whether hormone therapy (HT) and obesity are associated with endometrial cancer risk among postmenopausal women in the California Teachers Study cohort.
Of 28,418 postmenopausal women, 395 developed type 1 endometrial cancer between 1995 and 2006. Multivariate Cox regression was performed to estimate relative risks (RR), stratified by HT use (never used, ever estrogen-alone (ET), or exclusively estrogen-plus-progestin (EPT)).
Among women who never used HT, overall and abdominal adiposity were associated with increased risk; when evaluated simultaneously, abdominal adiposity was more strongly associated (RR 2.2, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1–4.5 for waist ≥35 vs. <35 inches). Among women who ever used ET, risk was increased in women with BMI ≥25 kg/m2 (RR 1.6, 95% CI: 1.1–2.3 vs. <25 kg/m2). Neither overall nor abdominal obesity was associated with risk in women who exclusively used EPT (P-interaction<0.001 for BMI by HT use).
Among women who never used HT, risk was strongly positively related to obesity and may have been influenced more by abdominal than overall adiposity; however, due to small numbers, this latter finding requires replication. Among women who ever used ET, being overweight at baseline predicted higher risk, whereas use of EPT mitigated any effect of obesity.
endometrial cancer; obesity; abdominal adiposity; hormone therapy
Although advanced parental age at one's birth has been associated with increased risk of breast and prostate cancers, few studies have examined its effect on adult-onset sporadic hematologic malignancies. The authors examined the association of parents’ ages at women's births with risk of hematologic malignancies among 110,999 eligible women aged 22–84 years recruited into the prospective California Teachers Study. Between 1995 and 2007, 819 women without a family history of hematologic malignancies were diagnosed with incident lymphoma, leukemia (primarily acute myeloid leukemia), or multiple myeloma. Multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models provided estimates of relative risks and 95% confidence intervals. Paternal age was positively associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after adjustment for race and birth order (relative risk for age ≥40 vs. <25 years = 1.51, 95% confidence interval: 1.08, 2.13; P-trend = 0.01). Further adjustment for maternal age did not materially alter the association. By contrast, the elevated non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk associated with advanced maternal age (≥40 years) became null when paternal age was included in the statistical model. No association was observed for acute myeloid leukemia or multiple myeloma. Advanced paternal age may play a role in non-Hodgkin lymphoma etiology. Potential etiologic mechanisms include de novo gene mutations, aberrant paternal gene imprinting, or telomere/telomerase biology.
cohort studies; hematologic neoplasms; leukemia, myeloid, acute; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; maternal age; paternal age
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.
racial disparities; social class disparities; life expectancy; California; population-based; USA; socioeconomic status (SES)
We investigated heterogeneity in ethnic composition and immigrant status among US Asians as an explanation for disparities in breast cancer survival.
We enhanced data from the California Cancer Registry and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program through linkage and imputation to examine the effect of immigrant status, neighborhood socioeconomic status, and ethnic enclave on mortality among Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, South Asian, and Vietnamese women diagnosed with breast cancer from 1988 to 2005 and followed through 2007.
US-born women had similar mortality rates in all Asian ethnic groups except the Vietnamese, who had lower mortality risk (hazard ratio [HR]=0.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.1, 0.9). Except for Japanese women, all foreign-born women had higher mortality than did US-born Japanese, the reference group. HRs ranged from 1.4 (95% CI=1.2, 1.7) among Koreans to 1.8 (95% CI=1.5, 2.2) among South Asians and Vietnamese. Little of this variation was explained by differences in disease characteristics.
Survival after breast cancer is poorer among foreign- than US-born Asians. Research on underlying factors is needed, along with increased awareness and targeted cancer control.
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), as well as the BMP-binding molecules Chordin (Chd), Crossveinless-2 (CV2) and Twisted Gastrulation (Tsg), are essential for axial skeletal development in the mouse embryo. We previously reported a strong genetic interaction between CV2 and Tsg and proposed a role for this interaction in the shaping of the BMP morphogenetic field during vertebral development. In the present study we investigated the roles of CV2 and Chd in the formation of the vertebral morphogenetic field. We performed immunostainings for CV2 and Chd protein on wild-type, CV2−/− or Chd−/− mouse embryo sections at the stage of onset of the vertebral phenotypes. By comparing mRNA and protein localizations we found that CV2 does not diffuse away from its place of synthesis, the vertebral body. The most interesting finding of this study was that Chd synthesized in the intervertebral disc accumulates in the vertebral body. This relocalization does not take place in CV2−/− mutants. Instead, Chd was found to accumulate at its site of synthesis in CV2−/− embryos. These results indicate a CV2-dependent flow of Chd protein from the intervertebral disc to the vertebral body. Smad1/5/8 phosphorylation was decreased in CV2−/−vertebral bodies. This impaired BMP signaling may result from the decreased levels of Chd/BMP complexes diffusing from the intervertebral region. The data indicate a role for CV2 and Chd in the establishment of the vertebral morphogenetic field through the long-range relocalization of Chd/BMP complexes. The results may have general implications for the formation of embryonic organ-forming morphogenetic fields.
BMP signaling; CV2; Chd; Chdl-1; Chdl-2; long-range signaling; morphogenetic field; vertebral development; Tolloid; Twisted gastrulation
We estimated trends in breast cancer incidence rates for specific Asian populations in California to determine if disparities exist by immigrant status and age.
To calculate rates by ethnicity and immigrant status, we obtained data for 1998 through 2004 cancer diagnoses from the California Cancer Registry and imputed immigrant status from Social Security Numbers for the 26% of cases with missing birthplace information. Population estimates were obtained from the 1990 and 2000 US Censuses.
Breast cancer rates were higher among US- than among foreign-born Chinese (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.84; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.72, 1.96) and Filipina women (IRR = 1.32; 95% CI=1.20, 1.44), but similar between US- and foreign-born Japanese women. US-born Chinese and Filipina women who were younger than 55 years had higher rates than did White women of the same age. Rates increased over time in most groups, as high as 4% per year among foreign-born Korean and US-born Filipina women. From 2000–2004, the rate among US-born Filipina women exceeded that of White women.
These findings challenge the notion that breast cancer rates are uniformly low across Asians and therefore suggest a need for increased awareness, targeted cancer control, and research to better understand underlying factors.
To identify susceptibility loci for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) subtypes, we conducted a three-stage genome-wide association study. We identified two variants associated with follicular lymphoma (FL) in 1,465 FL cases/6,958 controls at 6p21.32 (rs10484561, rs7755224, r2=1.0; combined p-values=1.12×10-29, 2.00×10-19), providing further support that MHC genetic variation influences FL susceptibility. Confirmatory evidence of a previously reported association was also found between chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma and rs735665 (combined p-value=4.24×10-9).
There are few known modifiable risk factors for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), but the recent finding of an inverse association between routine regular-strength aspirin use and HL risk suggests that aspirin may protect against HL development. To further investigate this association using prospectively collected data, we conducted a population-based case-control study in Northern Denmark. A total of 478 incident HL cases were identified in nationwide health care databases from 1991 through 2008. Ten population controls were matched to each case on age, sex, and county using risk-set sampling. Use of aspirin, selective cyclooxygenase-2 (sCOX-2) inhibitors, and other NSAIDs from 1989 through 2007 was ascertained by linkage to a population-based prescription database. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for associations between medication use and risk of HL. The OR for ever use (>2 prescriptions) compared with never/rare use (≤2 prescriptions) of low-dose aspirin was 0.7 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.5–1.2). The association with low-dose aspirin use did not vary appreciably by recentness, duration, or intensity of use. Recent use (>2 prescriptions in the 1–2 years before the index date), short-term use (<7 years), and medium/high-intensity use (≥25% of duration of use covered by prescription) of sCOX-2 inhibitors or other NSAIDs was associated with increased HL risk, possibly due to prodromal symptoms among cases. In conclusion, our results provide some evidence of a protective effect of low-dose aspirin, but not other NSAIDs, against HL development.
non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; Hodgkin lymphoma; epidemiology; risk; prevention
Chronic hepatitis B is the leading cause of liver cancer and the largest health disparity between Asian/Pacific Islanders (APIs) and the general US population. The Hep B Free model was launched to eliminate hepatitis B infection by increasing hepatitis B awareness, testing, vaccination, and treatment among APIs by building a broad, community-wide coalition. The San Francisco Hep B Free campaign is a diverse public/private collaboration unifying the API community, health care system, policy makers, businesses, and the general public in San Francisco, California. Mass-media and grassroots messaging raised citywide awareness of hepatitis B and promoted use of the existing health care system for hepatitis B screening and follow-up. Coalition partners reported semi-annually on activities, resources utilized, and system changes instituted. From 2007 to 2009, over 150 organizations contributed approximately $1,000,000 in resources to the San Francisco Hep B Free campaign. 40 educational events reached 1,100 healthcare providers, and 50% of primary care physicians pledged to screen APIs routinely for hepatitis B. Community events and fairs reached over 200,000 members of the general public. Of 3,315 API clients tested at stand-alone screening sites created by the campaign, 6.5% were found to be chronically infected and referred to follow-up care. A grassroots coalition that develops strong partnerships with diverse organizations can use existing resources to successfully increase public and healthcare provider awareness about hepatitis B among APIs, promote routine hepatitis B testing and vaccination as part of standard primary care, and ensure access to treatment for chronically infected individuals.
Hepatitis B; Liver cancer; Asian Americans; Pacific Islander Americans; Community networks; Healthcare coalitions
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.