Treatment responses in Asians and Caucasians with chronic hepatitis C infection
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AIM: To conduct a multicentre retrospective review of virological response rates in Asians infected with genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C (CHC) treated with combination interferon and ribavirin and then to compare their responses to that among Caucasians. METHODS: Asian patients infected with genotype 1 CHC treated at 4 Australian centres between 2001 to 2005 were identified through hospital databases. Baseline demographic characteristics, biochemical, virological and histological data and details of treatment were collected. Sustained virological responses (SVR) in this cohort were then compared to that in Caucasian subjects, matched by genotype, age, gender and the stage of hepatic fibrosis. RESULTS: A total of 108 Asians with genotype 1 CHC were identified. The end of treatment response (ETR) for the cohort was 79% while the SVR was 67%. Due to the relatively advanced age of the Asian cohort, only sixty-four subjects could be matched with Caucasians. The ETR among matched Asians and Caucasians was 81% and 56% respectively (P = 0.003), while the SVR rates were 73% and 36% (P < 0.001) respectively. This difference remained significant after adjusting for other predictive variables. CONCLUSION: Genotype 1 CHC in Asian subjects is associated with higher rates of virological response compared to that in Caucasians.