Los Angeles, California - A study by UCLA researchers shows that going to churches to promote testing for chronic hepatitis B, which is associated with liver cancer and other liver diseases, can lead to improved testing rates among Korean Americans.


Liver cancer is eight times more common among Asian Americans than non-Hispanic whites in the United States, and 80 percent of these cancers among Asian Americans are caused by chronic hepatitis B infection.

To reach part of this vulnerable population in Los Angeles County, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center members Roshan Bastani, Beth Glenn, Annette Maxwell and Catherine Crespi brought their intervention program — designed to improve rates of testing for hepatitis B — to churches because a large proportion of Korean Americans here regularly attend church.

The results of the study show that people who attend churches where they promoted testing got tested for hepatitis B more than people who attend churches in the control group where testing was not explicitly promoted.