Press "Enter" to skip to content

Report: High rates of hepatitis B, liver cancer mortality

LIHU‘E — A review of 20 years worth of data found higher rates of hepatitis B virus infection and liver cancer mortality in the state of Hawai‘i, when compared with the rest of the country.

The Hawai‘i Hepatitis B Mortality and Liver Cancer report showed Hawaii’s hepatitis B death rate was 1.17 per 100,000 residents in 2019. That was nearly three times the national rate of 0.42 per 100,000 residents.

Hepatitis B death rates were also higher among Asian and Pacific Islander residents in Hawai‘i. Rates for those residents were 1.2 to 1.4 times the rate of the state average.

Liver cancer death rates in Hawai‘i were also consistently higher than the national average, with state rates 1.1 to 1.8 times the national mark. That was driven by higher rates among male and Asian and Pacific Islander residents.

The report, which was released by the state Department of Health, analyzed mortality data from 2000 to 2020 in order to guide efforts to improve liver health and reduce preventable deaths in the islands.

“The findings of this report reiterate the importance of eliminating hepatitis B infection in Hawai‘i through increased screening and immunizations,” said Kenneth S. Fink, director of the state Department of Health, in a statement.

“Deaths from hepatitis B are preventable, and we can reduce deaths statewide and improve health equity by ongoing commitment to culturally appropriate partnerships with the local Asian and Pacific Islander communities that are most affected,” he said.

Based on the findings, the report made recommendations to reduce hepatitis B and liver cancer mortality, including additional research and reporting, and increased screening and immunizations. Hepatitis B is acute or chronic hepatitis.

The report was a collaborative effort between the Department of Health and other partners, including Hep Free Hawai‘i, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Hepatitis B Foundation. The report can be found online at

For local hepatitis B screening and immunization resources, visit


Wyatt Haupt Jr., editor, can be reached at 808-245-0457 or
Source: The Garden Island

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: