Source Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida.
Chronic liver disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among Hispanic people living in the United States. Environmental, genetic, and behavioral factors, as well as socioeconomic and health care disparities among this ethnic group have emerged as important public health concerns. We review the epidemiology, natural history, and response to therapy of chronic liver disease in Hispanic patients. The review covers nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, viral hepatitis B and C, coinfection of viral hepatitis with human immunodeficiency virus, alcoholic cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, autoimmune hepatitis, and primary biliary cirrhosis. For most of these disorders, the Hispanic population has a higher incidence and more aggressive pattern of disease and overall worse treatment outcomes than in the non-Hispanic white population. Clinicians should be aware of these differences in caring for Hispanic patients with chronic liver disease.