Peginterferon alfa-2b and ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in blacks and non-Hispanic whites.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

BACKGROUND: Several small studies have reported a lower response rate to interferon alfa among black patients with chronic hepatitis C infection than among white patients. The increased prevalence of infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1, which has a lower response rate than other genotypes, has been suggested as the cause. METHODS: We treated 100 black patients and 100 non-Hispanic white patients with chronic hepatitis C with peginterferon alfa-2b and ribavirin for 48 weeks. Enrollment was controlled so that the two groups had similar proportions of patients with genotype 1 infection. The primary end point was a sustained virologic response, which was defined as a negative test for serum HCV RNA six months after the completion of therapy. RESULTS: In both cohorts, 98 percent of patients had genotype 1 infection. The rate of sustained virologic response was higher among non-Hispanic white patients than among black patients (52 percent vs.19 percent, P<0.001). The black patients also had significantly lower rates of virologic response at 12 weeks and at the end of treatment. Multivariable analyses examining sociodemographic and clinical characteristics found that black race was the only variable significantly associated with the difference in response rate. CONCLUSIONS: Black patients with chronic hepatitis C have a lower rate of response to treatment with peginterferon alfa-2b and ribavirin than non-Hispanic white patients, a difference that is not explained by differences in the viral genotype.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Muir, AJ; Bornstein, JD; Killenberg, PG; Atlantic Coast Hepatitis Treatment Group,

Published Date

  • May 27, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 350 / 22

Start / End Page

  • 2265 - 2271

PubMed ID

  • 15163776

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1533-4406

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1056/NEJMoa032502


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States