Tattoos as an important risk factor for HCV: Study says “…No place for doubt…”

tattoo by Kiedove. released as a public domain image.

“I used to love tattoos” Click for larger image.

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

The full text is also accessible from the UK’s Hepatitis C Trust report page under: Systematic Tattoo Review or as a link from Pubmed.

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.


About Laura

NW Vermont.
This entry was posted in HCV Health, HCV Risks (documented), Nexus Information, Tips and Tricks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tattoos as an important risk factor for HCV: Study says “…No place for doubt…”

  1. Carol A. Harms says:

    I have been trying to tell everybody I know (well, even strangers) that get a tattoo that clean facilities, new needle, etc. are not all that count. If a new ink well that’s been sealed in plastic isn’t used, anything the person before you has (Hep C, HIV-AIDS, HBV, etc.) will be shot right into your blood stream. Tattoo recipients is likely going to be the next large group to feel the symptoms of Hepatitis C – it’s going to be a runaway with so many people who would not previously have gotten a tattoo all of the sudden thinking it’s kind of cute to get one. Get tested or worry about it for the next 20 years.

    • Kiedove says:

      Yes, it’s just like a multi-dose vial of a drug or saline. It could become contaminated easily. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

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