Background: Liver cancer is the second most-frequent cause of cancer death in Korea. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major cause of liver cancer, and this disease is effectively prevented by HBV vaccination. This study was conducted to investigate factors associated with the lack of HBV vaccine uptake in the general adult male population in Korea.
Methods: Data of men who participated in a nationwide cross-sectional interview survey were analyzed. A total of 2,174 men 40 years of age and older were interviewed between 2006 and 2008. None of the participants was infected with HBV or was experiencing sequelae of an HBV infection.
Results: Only half (50.4%) of the men received one or more dose of the three-dose series of HBV vaccinations, and 32.5% received all three doses. Compared with men who had completed the vaccination regimen, non-vaccinated men were more likely to lack supplemental medical insurance for cancer (odds ratio = 0.66, 95% confidence interval: 0.52-0.84), have lower incomes (p-trend = 0.010), and be less educated (p-trend = 0.021). Lower education was also more prevalent in the non-vaccinated group compared with the incompletely vaccinated group. Those who had completed the vaccination regimen were likely to be more educated than those in the incompletely vaccinated group (p-trend = 0.044). The most commonly cited reason for not obtaining the HBV vaccine was lack of knowledge regarding the need for the vaccination. The number of men who cited this reason decreased as a function of education.
Conclusions: It is important to develop strategic interventions targeted at less-educated men to increase uptake of a complete three-dose series of HBV vaccinations as a primary approach to preventing liver cancer.