Hepatitis C rates differ among Hispanic populations

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Puerto Rican Hispanic men have a much higher rate of hepatitis C infection than any other male Hispanic population in the U.S., according to a new study from Yeshiva University in New York City.

Researchers examined data from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, from the National Institute of Health, and found infection rates of the hepatitis C virus vary among male Hispanic population groups. Some of the other population infection rates calculated were Mexican at 1.9 percent, Dominican at 1.5 percent, and Cuban at 0.8 percent. Hispanic women generally had lower infection rates than men, but Puerto Rican women also had the highest infection rate amongst women (3.9 percent). Researchers are unsure of the reasons for the variation, but urge extra screening and treatment efforts should be aimed at those in the high-risk population groups.

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