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Liver Transpl. 2012 Apr;18(4):461-7. doi: 10.1002/lt.23376.

Effects of ethnicity and socioeconomic status on survival and severity of fibrosis in liver transplant recipients with hepatitis C virus.

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  • 1Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation, Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.


The ethnicity and socioeconomic status of the host may affect the progression of hepatitis C virus (HCV). We aimed to compare survival and fibrosis progression in Hispanic white (HW) and non-Hispanic white (NHW) recipients of liver transplantation (LT) with HCV. All HW and NHW patients with HCV who underwent transplantation between January 2000 and December 2007 at 2 centers were retrospectively assessed. The primary outcomes were the time to death, death or graft loss due to HCV, and significant fibrosis [at least stage 2 of 4]. Five hundred eleven patients were studied (159 HW patients and 352 NHW patients), and the baseline demographics were similar for the 2 groups. NHW patients were more likely to be male, to have attended college, and to have private insurance, and they had a higher median household income (MHI). The unadjusted rates of survival (log-rank P = 0.93), death or graft loss due to HCV (P = 0.89), and significant fibrosis (P = 0.95) were similar between groups. In a multivariate analysis controlling for center, age [hazard ratio (HR) per 10 years = 1.43, P = 0.01], donor age (HR per 10 years = 1.25, P < 0.001), and rejection (HR = 1.47, P = 0.048) predicted death, whereas HW ethnicity (HR = 1.06, P = 0.77) was not significant. Independent predictors of significant fibrosis were HW ethnicity (HR = 2.42, P = 0.046), MHI (HR per $10,000 = 1.11, P = 0.01), donor age (HR per 10 years = 1.13, P = 0.02), cold ischemia time (HR = 1.06, P = 0.03), and the interaction between ethnicity and MHI (HR = 0.82, P = 0.03). In conclusion, there is no difference in post-LT survival or graft loss due to HCV between HW patients and NHW patients. Socioeconomic factors may influence disease severity; this is suggested by our findings of more significant fibrosis in HW patients with a low MHI.

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