February 05, 2019
2 min read

Liver disease-related mortality etiology differs by Hispanic subgroups

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Among the three largest Hispanic population subgroups, researchers found high levels of heterogeneity in chronic liver disease-related mortality patterns, according to a recently published study.

“The amalgamation of Hispanic sub-groups into one composite group may mask significant differences in mortality associated with the specific etiology of chronic liver disease in the Hispanic sub-groups,” Donghee Kim, MD, PhD, from Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues wrote. “Studying one Hispanic subgroup may fail to capture the true burden of chronic liver disease among all Hispanic subgroups, and may under- or over-estimate the burden of specific chronic liver disease.”

Kim and colleagues reviewed the etiology of more than 21 million deaths among U.S. adults that occurred between 2007 and 2016. The three key Hispanic subgroups included Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Cubans, with “other Hispanic” ethnicity and non-Hispanic whites included for comparison.

Puerto Ricans had the highest rates of age-standardized hepatitis C-related mortality in 2016 (11.17 per 100,000 persons), followed by non-Hispanic whites (5.92 per 100,000 persons), Mexicans (5.09 per 100,000 persons), and Cubans (4.21 per 100,000 persons).

Puerto Ricans also had the highest rates of age-standardized hepatitis B-related mortality, followed by non-Hispanic whites, Cubans, and Mexicans. However, HBV-related mortality did decline significantly during the 10-year period.

Mexicans had the highest rates of age-standardized alcohol-related liver disease mortality during the study period, followed by Puerto Ricans and Cubans. Mortality rates due to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease increased from 0.76 to 1.15 per 100,000 persons among Mexicans from 2007 to 2016 and from 0.51 to 1.18 per 100,000 persons among Puerto Ricans in the same period.

Cirrhosis-related mortality was highest among Puerto Ricans, followed by non-Hispanic whites, Mexicans and Cubans. Hepatocellular carcinoma-related mortality was also highest among Puerto Ricans and Mexicans, with nearly identical rates among non-Hispanic whites, and the lowest rates in Cubans.

“Although Hispanics are often examined as a homogeneous population in many studies, they are a diverse group in terms of country of origin and race,” Kim and colleagues wrote. “Prospective future studies are needed within the Hispanic subgroups in the U.S. to improve knowledge gaps and our understanding of the prevalence of etiology-specific chronic liver diseases within the Hispanic subgroup.” – by Talitha Bennett

Disclosure: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.