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Gastroenterol Nurs. 2008 Jan-Feb;31(1):17-25; quiz 26-7. doi: 10.1097/01.SGA.0000310931.64854.5f.

Chronic hepatitis C in the Hispanic/Latino population living in the United States: a literature review.

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Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Illinois, USA.


Advanced practice nurses are faced with the clinical challenge of recognizing risk factors for chronic hepatitis C, not only in the native-born population, but also in the immigrant populations in the United States. Hispanics/Latinos constitute 13% of the U.S. population and are the fastest growing minority in the United States. A greater understanding of chronic hepatitis C in this populace was accomplished by reviewing current literature in the areas of natural history, epidemiology of risk factors, screening practices, and therapy outcomes. This review serves as a foundation for the creation of a culturally competent assessment tool for the screening of chronic hepatitis C in this population. The information from the literature review suggests that Hispanics/Latinos have an overall prevalence rate for chronic hepatitis C of 2.6%; have faster liver fibrosis progression rates; are infected at an earlier age; are more likely to be HIV coinfected; and show significantly higher alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, and bilirubin levels. They also have more portal inflammation than do Caucasians and African Americans and a higher prevalence of cirrhosis than do African Americans--more so in Hispanic women than in Hispanic men. Transfusion, tattoos, and iatrogenic transfer are risk factors that need to be assessed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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