Betel Nut: Provider Guide
This two-page fact sheet informs medical and dental health providers about the importance of screening for betel nut (Areca) use in immigrant and refugee patients from South and Southeast Asia (such as Burma, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Vietnam), as well as parts of East Africa and the tropical Pacific. It provides background information about betel nut, an addictive human carcinogen with serious adverse health effects, and clarifies that in some countries chewing it is a cultural and social practice among adults, pregnant women, and children. The document explains how betel nut is used, how to tell if someone chews it, and its adverse effects on oral health, increased cancer risks, and pregnancy complications. Advice for what healthcare providers can do is offered, and sample screening questions are provided.
This resource was researched, produced, and written by Susan Clifford (MSW, MPH) and Coby Austin (MPH) for the Orange County North Carolina Health Department, and field tested with health professionals.
The English language resource was created or reviewed by a medical professional for quality and accuracy.