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December 23/30, 1998

Ethnicity and Hepatitis C

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JAMA. 1998;280(24):2067. doi:10.1001/jama.280.24.2067-JQU80009-4-1

New data from a multicenter study suggest that African Americans have strikingly lower response rates to treatment with interferon for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection than other ethnic groups.

The study, reported last month at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases meeting in Chicago, included 380 white, 40 African American, 40 Hispanic, and 10 Asian patients with HCV infection. After 24 weeks of treatment with interferon, only 5% of African Americans had undetectable levels of HCV RNA, compared with 33% of whites, 28% of Hispanics, and 40% of Asians.

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