Health Literacy, Knowledge, and Risk Factors for Fatty Liver Disease among Asian American and Pacific Islanders and Latinos in Los Angeles

Document Type : Research Articles


1 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA, United States.

2 UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research, Fielding School of Public Health and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA, United States.

3 Department of Biostatistics, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA, United States

4 UCLA Department of Health Policy and Management and UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity, Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA, United States.

5 Unidad de Investigación Epidemiológica y en Servicios de Salud, Morelos, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Cuernavaca, Morelos, CP México, United States.


Background: Fatty liver disease (FLD) is associated with increased risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and is associated with rising rates of diabetes and obesity. The prevalence of FLD is rising among Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) and Latinos. This study examined health literacy, knowledge, and risk factors for FLD among AAPIs and Latinos in Los Angeles. Methods: Data from in-person interviews and clinical measures (body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, and blood pressure) were obtained from adults aged 18-82 years at four health fairs from November 2018 to March 2019. Interviews assessed knowledge about FLD, access to health resources, and satisfaction with current physician. Correct responses to knowledge questions were summed to generate a FLD knowledge score. Linear regression models were used to examine the association between knowledge score and age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Results: A total of 102 subjects were AAPI and 33 were Latino. Over 65% of participants had heard of FLD but demonstrated limited knowledge about FLD. Only 24% of subjects reported receiving FLD resources in their preferred language. Most subjects failed to identify several risk factors and key symptoms of FLD. Mean knowledge score for subjects who had heard of FLD was 7.58 (95% CI 7.15-8.01) out of a possible 16 points, and for those who had not who had not heard of FLD it was 5.71 (5.00-6.42) (p <0.0001). Conclusions: A lack of culturally competent resources and effective communication strategies between physicians and patients regarding FLD contributes to a lower awareness about the increased risk of FLD among AAPIs and Latinos. Future studies should investigate optimal methods to educate these communities about FLD and its associations with HCC.


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