Source Department of Experimental Medicine, School of Medicine, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Hospital General de México , Dr Balmis 148, Mexico City 02726 , Mexico.
Liver cirrhosis is within the top 10 causes of death in Latin-American countries and recent evidence suggests that Hispanics in the USA have a more aggressive course of many types of liver disease and show lower response to treatment of hepatitis C compared with other ethnic groups. Although environmental factors are very important, they do not appear to fully account for the observed ethnic differences in the incidence of cirrhosis and progression rates. Genome-wide association studies have been a powerful tool to identify genetic variants that directly confer susceptibility to liver disease. Here, we review the current knowledge on genetic variants associated with the most common types of liver disease that may contribute to ancestry-related differences in disease progression and mortality.