November 1, 2012
According to results of a study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), African American women co-infected with HIV and the hepatitis C virus (HCV) are less likely to die from liver disease than Caucasian or Hispanic women. The study examined racial differences and mortality among women co-infected with HIV and HCV.
The team followed 794 patients who were part of the Women's Interagency HIV study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The patient group included 140 Caucasians, 159 Hispanics, and 495 African Americans. The patients were seen twice a year for detailed health histories, physical exams, interviews, and clinical tests. At median follow-up of approximately 9 years and maximum follow-up of 16 years, there were 438 deaths, 37 percent from HIV/AIDS and 11 percent from liver-related disease. About 56 percent of African-Americans, 56 percent of Caucasians, and 52 percent of Hispanics died during follow-up.
Liver disease was the primary cause of death in 21 percent of Hispanics, 14 percent of Caucasians, and 8 percent of African-Americans. Dr. Monika Sarkar, the lead researcher, noted that further studies are needed to understand the reasons for the discrepancy in liver-related deaths among these racial groups.
The study titled, "Lower Liver-Related Death in African-American Women With Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Hepatitis C Virus Coinfection, Compared to Caucasian and Hispanic Women," was published in the journal Hepatology, 56: 1699-1705. doi: 10.1002/hep.25859.