The first study of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) among different U.S. Latino groups shows that rates vary widely between them, with Puerto Ricans being the Latinos most at risk for the virus, Science Codex reports. Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University mostly looked at men from six different Latino populations and compared the number of HCV cases.

They found that hep C rates ranged from less than 1 percent in South American and Cuban men to 11.6 percent in men of Puerto Rican background. Experts say the more than 10-fold difference between infections in these communities suggests that all U.S. Latinos should not be lumped into a single, broad at-risk group.

Hepatitis C prevalence in U.S. Latino men was 1.9 percent for Mexicans, 1.5 percent for Dominicans, 1 percent for Central Americans, 0.8 percent for Cubans and 0.4 percent for South Americans. The study also found that Latinas generally had much lower HCV rates than men, with Puerto Rican women having the highest hep C prevalence at 3.9 percent.

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