J Community Health. 2020 Oct 7. doi: 10.1007/s10900-020-00931-8. Online ahead of print.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second and fourth most common cancer in Vietnamese American women and men, respectively. Recent research has highlighted the importance of modifiable lifestyle behaviors such as smoking, alcohol use, dietary behaviors, and physical activities in CRC prevention for the general population. However, it is not well understood how well Vietnamese Americans knew about CRC prevention and risk factors, and whether there were any disparities in knowledge within this
vulnerable population. This study examined whether comprehensive measures of acculturation and knowledge of CRC risk are associated with different health behaviors, specifically physical activity, protective dietary behaviors, and risky dietary behaviors in Vietnamese Americans. We recruited 374 Vietnamese Americans aged 50 or above from community-based organizations in the Vietnamese American communities in the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area. Through a cross-sectional survey, we collected data on their knowledge of CRC prevention and risk factors, acculturation-related factors, and sociodemographic characteristics. We found limited knowledge of CRC prevention and risk factors, and suboptimal physical activity and healthy dietary behaviors in the Vietnamese Americans. We also found that higher levels of knowledge about CRC and risk factors were associated with less unhealthy diets but not with more protective diets or physical activity. Acculturation was not significantly associated with overall dietary behaviors in our study. Our findings addressed gaps in current literature concerning the impact of knowledge about CRC risk factors and acculturation on different dimensions of dietary behaviors as well as physical activity. Research and practical implications were discussed.