Hepatitis C virus among african-american persons
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- Strader, D.B. Curr hepatitis rep (2004) 3: 129. doi:10.1007/s11901-004-0022-9
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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In the United States, approximately 2% of the general population has serum antibodies to HCV. Although African-American persons make up only 12% of the US population, they account for 22% of the estimated 2.7 million persons infected with chronic HCV. In addition, African-American persons with HCV appear to be at greater risk for cirrhosis and HCC, and are less likely to respond to current anti-HCV therapy. Although the explanation for the observed racial differences in HCV prevalence, complications, and response to therapy is unclear, it has been speculated that ethnic variations in viral kinetics, immunogenetics, hepatic steatosis, and hepatic iron concentration may be partly responsible. Unfortunately, limited data are currently available. Adequately powered and sized prospective trials are needed to further investigate these provocative hypotheses.