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African American women with HIV/HCV less likely to die from liver disease
Date:11/1/2012

A new study shows that African American women coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are less likely to die from liver disease than Caucasian or Hispanic women. Findings in the November issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, indicate that lower liver-related mortality in African American women was independent of other causes of death.

Medical evidence reports that nearly five million Americans are infected with HCV, with 80% having active virus in their blood (viremia). Moreover, prior research found that one third of those with HIV are co-infected with HCVthe second leading cause of death among those with HIV. Studies also show that while HCV clearance (elimination of the virus spontaneously or with treatment) is lower among African Americans, once chronically infected this group seems to develop less fibrosis and liver inflammation compared to other racial groups.

"Despite much study on racial differences in hepatitis C development, it remains unclear how race impacts liver-related death in those with HCV or HIV/HCV co-infection," said Dr. Monika Sarkar from the University of California, San Francisco and lead author of the current study examining racial differences and mortality among women with HIV and HCV.

The UCSF team followed 794 subjects who were part of the Women's Interagency HIV study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Those women in the follow-up study included 140 Caucasians (62%), 159 Hispanics (20%), and 495 African Americans (18%). Study participants were seen twice each year to have detailed health histories, physical exams, interviews, and clinical testing.

During a median follow-up of nearly 9 years, researchers documented 438 deaths; 37% from HIV/AIDS and 11% due to liver-related disease. Nearly 56% of African Americans, 56% of Caucasians and 52% o
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Contact: Dawn Peters
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

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