SNAPSHOTS: Article: Racial disparity in all-cause mortality among hepatitis C virus-infected individuals in a general US population, NHANES III—B. Emmanuel at el.
Source: J Viral Hepat 2016; 1–9
Study Aims and Results
The current study used data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) study to tabulate the number of hepatitis C (HCV)-related deaths and compare them to the number of deaths in the general population. The authors also examined the differences in deaths among ethnic and racial groups, and by sex and age.
A total of 9,117 adults with HCV aged 18 to 59 years old were assessed from 1988 to 1994 and they were followed up through 2011.
Nine hundred-thirty deaths occurred over an average period of approximately 20 years. The authors found that having HCV increased the risk of all-cause mortality (death) rate by 2.63—that is the death rate was 2.63 times higher. The study results also looked at the death rates among racial and ethnic Americans by variances as listed below:
- 7.48 times higher death rates among Mexican Americans
- 2.67 times higher death rates among non-Hispanic Whites and,
- 2.02 times higher death rates among non-Hispanic Blacks
The main factor for the higher rates of death among Mexican Americans was the lack of health insurance. The authors noted that a National Health Interview Survey (2008-2010) revealed that 41% of non-Hispanics, 26% non-Hispanics Blacks and 16% of non-Hispanic Whites were without health insurance.
The increased risk of death among non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks and notably among Mexican Americans is alarming. The pending elimination of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not bode well for all Americans dependent on the ACA most notably for those who may not have another available option. Hopefully, Congress will keep their word to repeal and replace the ACA with a better national healthcare law as promised. Otherwise, the alarming trend will only get worse. We must all raise our voices to support a replacement plan that helps all Americans not just the people who can afford insurance.
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