Hispanics and Hepatitis

According to the most recent surveillance data, 4% of the reported cases of chronic hepatitis C were among Hispanics/Latinos, between 2013 and 2016. This is of concern when compared to the relatively high rates of hepatitis C related deaths among Latinos. Statistics from the Office of Minority health shows that Hispanics/Latinos are 60 percent more likely to die from viral hepatitis than whites, and that despite having lower rates of hepatitis C, Hispanics were 50 percent more likely to die from that condition, in 2015.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic liver disease is a leading cause of death among Hispanics/Latinos in the United States; in 2014 it was the 6th leading cause of death among Hispanic men and the 3rd leading cause among those aged 55 to 64.

These statistics point to an overlooked health disparity and a need for equitable public health services. Additionally, we find a need for interventions focused on awareness, hepatitis screening and allocation of resources to address the impact of hepatitis in the United States, Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories.