Racial differences in responses to therapy with interferon in chronic hepatitis C

K. Rajender Reddy, Jay H. Hoofnagle, Myron J. Tong, William M. Lee, Paul Pockros, E. Jenny Heathcote, Donald Albert, Tenshang Joh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The likelihood of a sustained response to a course of interferon in patients with chronic hepatitis C correlates with several clinical and viral factors, including age, viral genotype and initial levels of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA in serum. The role of race and ethnicity has not been assessed. We evaluated the association of race with response to interferon in a large randomized, controlled trial using either consensus interferon (9 μg) or interferon alfa-2b (3 million units) given three times weekly for 24 weeks. African-American patients participating in the study were similar to white patients in mean age (43 vs. 42 years) and baseline levels of HCV RNA (3.6 vs. 3.0 million copies/mL) but had lower rates of cirrhosis (5% vs. 12%) and more frequently had viral genotype 1 (88% vs. 66%: P = .004). Most strikingly, the rates of end-of-treatment and sustained virological responses were lower among the 40 African-American patients (5% and 2%) than among the 380 white patients (33% and 12%) (P = .04 and .07). Rates of response among Hispanic and Asian-American patients were not statistically different than non-Hispanic white patients. Median viral levels decreased by week 24 of therapy by 2.5 logs in white patients (from 3.0 to 0.012 million copies/mL) but by only 0.5 logs among African-American patients (from 3.6 to 1.8 million copies/mL). Thus, there are marked racial differences in virological responses to interferon in hepatitis C that must be considered in assessing trials of interferon therapy and in counseling patients regarding treatment. The differences in response rates are as yet unexplained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-793
Number of pages7
JournalHepatology
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

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Chronic Hepatitis C
Interferons
African Americans
Therapeutics
interferon alfa-2b
Hepacivirus
Genotype
RNA
Asian Americans
Age Factors
Hepatitis C
Hispanic Americans
Counseling
Fibrosis
Randomized Controlled Trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

Cite this

Reddy, K. R., Hoofnagle, J. H., Tong, M. J., Lee, W. M., Pockros, P., Heathcote, E. J., ... Joh, T. (1999). Racial differences in responses to therapy with interferon in chronic hepatitis C. Hepatology, 30(3), 787-793. https://doi.org/10.1002/hep.510300319

Racial differences in responses to therapy with interferon in chronic hepatitis C. / Reddy, K. Rajender; Hoofnagle, Jay H.; Tong, Myron J.; Lee, William M.; Pockros, Paul; Heathcote, E. Jenny; Albert, Donald; Joh, Tenshang.

In: Hepatology, Vol. 30, No. 3, 1999, p. 787-793.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reddy, KR, Hoofnagle, JH, Tong, MJ, Lee, WM, Pockros, P, Heathcote, EJ, Albert, D & Joh, T 1999, 'Racial differences in responses to therapy with interferon in chronic hepatitis C', Hepatology, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 787-793. https://doi.org/10.1002/hep.510300319
Reddy, K. Rajender ; Hoofnagle, Jay H. ; Tong, Myron J. ; Lee, William M. ; Pockros, Paul ; Heathcote, E. Jenny ; Albert, Donald ; Joh, Tenshang. / Racial differences in responses to therapy with interferon in chronic hepatitis C. In: Hepatology. 1999 ; Vol. 30, No. 3. pp. 787-793.
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