Nearly 12 percent of Asians in New York City have hepatitis B – a potentially life-threatening liver infection – many of them undiagnosed. The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
To help combat the hepatitis B crisis, Northwell Health will offer free liver screenings at the health system’s ambulatory care center at Queens Crossing in Flushing on May 6 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Queens Crossing, located at 136-17 39th Ave., is situated in a diverse community that is home to people of Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Taiwanese and other Southeast Asian descent.
“This community has a very high prevalence of hepatitis B and fatty liver. The reason for it no one’s sure, but 10- to 12-percent of the population have it and they get it from their mother at the time of birth,” said David Bernstein, MD, chief of Hepatology for Northwell and the Sandra Atlas Bass Center for Liver Diseases.
“The fatty liver has to do with diet,” added Dr. Bernstein. “As they’ve adopted a Western diet they are gaining weight and getting fatty liver at a higher rate than others.”
The screenings consist of a blood test to check for Hepatitis B, as well as education on liver disease. Testing for fatty liver, which is initially diagnosed through ultrasound, is not being offered as part of the screenings.
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 21 hospitals and over 550 outpatient practices. We care for more than two million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 61,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and nearly 3,400 physicians, including nearly 2,700 members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.