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Hepatitis C treatment less effective in urban minority patients
Date:3/25/2010

A recent study confirms that the standard hepatitis C (HCV) therapy, pegylated interferon and ribavirin, is significantly less effective in urban minority patients treated in an ordinary clinical practice setting compared with results produced during clinical trials. Results of this study appear in the April issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

According to the CDC's Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities (OMHD), minorities experience a disproportionate burden of preventable disease, death, and disability compared with non-minorities. Groups currently experiencing poorer health status are expected to grow as a proportion of the total U.S. population. African Americans have higher rates of HCV and hepatitis B (HBV) infection than whites or Hispanics, while hepatitis A (HAV) rates are higher among Hispanics than among non-Hispanics. Current information about the biologic and genetic characteristics of minority populations does not explain the health disparities experienced by these groups compared with the white, non-Hispanic population in the U.S. These disparities are believed to be the result of the complex interaction among genetic variations, environmental factors, and specific health behaviors.

A study conducted at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine supports the disparity in drug efficacy among various minority populations. Researchers analyzed combination pegylated interferon and ribavirin, which has proved an effective treatment regimen for HCV in clinical trials, but doesn't yield the same success rates in daily clinical practice, particularly with minority patients. Study leader Dr. John F. Reinus explains, "Industry-sponsored trials are conducted with the advantage of extraordinary resources to ensure that all aspects of therapy with a study drug are accurately controlled, observed and documented."

Researchers
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Contact: Dawn Peters
medicalnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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