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

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


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / ethnology
  • Age of Onset
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Bilirubin / blood
  • Cultural Competency
  • Disease Progression
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / statistics & numerical data
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / ethnology*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / metabolism
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / therapy
  • Hispanic Americans* / ethnology
  • Hispanic Americans* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Research Design
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Tattooing / adverse effects
  • Transfusion Reaction
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Bilirubin