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Review
, 31 (1), 17-25; quiz 26-7

Chronic Hepatitis C in the Hispanic/Latino Population Living in the United States: A Literature Review

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Review

Chronic Hepatitis C in the Hispanic/Latino Population Living in the United States: A Literature Review

Donna Jean Blessman. Gastroenterol Nurs.

Abstract

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.

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