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Open Access Research article

Hepatitis B vaccinations among Koreans: Results from 2005 Korea National Cancer Screening Survey

Hee-Soon Juon1, Kui Son Choi2*, Eun-Cheol Park2, Min-Son Kwak2 and Sunmin Lee3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Health, Behavior & Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA

2 National Cancer Control Institute, National Cancer Center, Gyeonggi-do, Korea

3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland School of Public Health, College Park, MD, USA

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2009, 9:185  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-9-185

Published: 25 November 2009

Abstract

Background

Liver cancer is one of most commonly diagnosed cancers among Koreans. Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major risk factor for liver cancer. HBV infection can be prevented by effective screening and vaccination programs. The purpose of this study is to examine the status of HBV infection and the predictors associated with HBV vaccination.

Methods

The study population was derived from the 2005 Korea National Cancer Screening Survey (KNCSS). The KNCSS is an annual cross-sectional survey that uses a nationally-representative random sampling to investigate cancer screening rates. A total of 1,786 Koreans over 40 years of age participated in this study.

Results

Of all the participants, 5.9% reported HBV positive (HBsAg+, HBsAb-), 41.8% were HBV negative but protected (HBsAg-, HBsAb+), and 52.3% were unprotected (HBsAg-, HBsAb-). Among unprotected individuals (n = 934), 23.1% reported to have received the vaccination. About half of those who had vaccinations completed the 3-shot vaccine series. In multiple analyses, education, having private cancer insurance, alcohol use, having regular check-up, and doing regular exercise were associated with completed HBV vaccination.

Conclusion

This study result suggests that we need a liver cancer education program to increase HBV awareness and to increase the liver cancer prevention message among low educated populations.