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Race, Age, and Geography Impact Hepatitis C Genotype Distribution in the United States

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To determine the impact of geography and patient characteristics on hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype and subtype distribution in a large sample of patients under routine clinical care


HCV genotype impacts disease course and response to treatment. Although several studies have reported genotype distribution within specific US populations, there are no comprehensive descriptions in large, geographically diverse cohorts.


Using data from the Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study, we present the distribution of HCV genotypes (GT) and subtypes (ST) among a racially diverse cohort of over 8000 HCV-infected patients from four large US health systems.


Genotype distribution varied significantly by geographic and demographic factors. In age-adjusted analyses, African American patients had significantly higher prevalence of GT1 (85%) than other racial categories, largely driven by a markedly higher proportion of GT1 subtype b (∼34%) than in Asian/other (24%) and white (21%) patients. GT3 represented an increasing proportion of infections as birth decade progressed, from 4% in patients born before 1946 to 18% of those born after 1976. Within the cohort of “living/uncured” patients, highly elevated alanine aminotransferase (>2 times the upper limit of normal) was significantly more common in GT3 patients, whereas Fibrosis-4 Index scores indicative of cirrhosis were most common in the combined group of GT4&6 patients.


Distribution of HCV genotypes and subtypes in the United States is more variable than suggested by previous national-level estimates and single-center studies. “Real-world” prevalence data may improve targeting of prevention, screening, and treatment efforts for hepatitis C.
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Keywords: ALT; HCV; genotype 1b; genotype 3; racial disparities

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2: Department of Public Health Sciences 3: Center for Health Policy and Health Services Research, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI 4: Division of Viral Hepatitis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 5: Center for Health Research, Geisinger Health System, Danville, PA 6: Center for Health Research, Kaiser-Permanante Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 7: Center For Health Research, Kaiser-Permanante Northwest, Portland, OR

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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