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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 2016, Article ID 8987976, 7 pages
Research Article

Distribution of Hepatitis C Risk Factors and HCV Treatment Outcomes among Central Canadian Aboriginal

1Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
2The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada
3The Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Received 15 October 2015; Accepted 7 November 2015

Copyright © 2016 Parmvir Parmar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Aboriginal Canadians face many lifestyle risk factors for hepatitis C exposure. Methods. An analysis of Ottawa Hospital Viral Hepatitis Clinic (Ottawa, Canada) patients between January 2000 and August 2013 was performed. HCV infection risk factors and HCV treatment outcomes were assessed. Socioeconomic status markers were based on area-level indicators linked to postal codes using administrative databases. Results. 55 (2.8%) Aboriginal and 1923 (97.2%) non-Aboriginal patients were evaluated. Aboriginals were younger (45.6 versus 49.6 years, ). The distribution of gender (63.6% versus 68.3% male), HIV coinfection (9.1% versus 8.1%), advanced fibrosis stage (29.2% versus 28.0%), and SVR (56.3% versus 58.9%) was similar between groups. Aboriginals had a higher number of HCV risk factors, (mean 4.2 versus 3.1, ) with an odds ratio of 2.5 (95% confidence interval: 1.4–4.4) for having 4+ risk factors. This was not explained after adjustment for income, social deprivation, and poor housing. Aboriginal status was not related to SVR. Aboriginals interrupted therapy more often due to loss to follow-up, poor adherence, and substance abuse (25.0% versus 4.6%). Conclusion. Aboriginal Canadians have higher levels of HCV risk factors, even when adjusting for socioeconomic markers. Despite facing greater barriers to care, SVR rates were comparable with non-Aboriginals.