Multi-national study title: Tattooing and the risk of transmission of hepatitis C: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Publication: International Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 14, Issue 11 , Pages e928-e940, November 2010
Results: A total of 124 studies were included in this systematic review, of which 83 were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of the association of tattooing and hepatitis C from all studies was 2.74 (2.38–3.15). In a subgroup analysis we found the strongest association between tattooing and risk of hepatitis C for samples derived from non-injection drug users.
Conclusion (from the last page):
“…the association between tattooing and risk of transmission of hepatitis C was so strong in seven out of eight subgroups that this leaves no place for doubt in considering tattooing as an important risk factor in the transmission of hepatitis C.
The data on the subgroups and pooled data in this report should be evidence enough for the VA to grant service-connection for HCV if the tattoo was received during military service.