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Med J Aust. 1992 Aug 17;157(4):227-30.

Risk factors for hepatitis C virus infection in blood donors: a case-control study.

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1
National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate risk factors for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Sydney blood donors.

DESIGN:

Blood donors confirmed to be positive for HCV antibodies were compared with blood donors with a positive result of a screening assay, but whose HCV antibody status had not been confirmed. A questionnaire on sexual, parenteral and other potential risk factors was administered to both groups.

SETTING:

Blood Transfusion Service in Sydney.

PARTICIPANTS:

The study enrolled 220 donors who had confirmed HCV infection, and 210 donors who did not.

RESULTS:

The relative risk associated with injecting drug use was 63 (95% confidence interval, 19-260) when comparison was made with all other donors. Among donors who did not report injecting drug use, a significant, independent increase in risk was found in association with having had a tattoo. Among donors who did not give a history of parenteral exposure, there was a significantly greater risk in people with more than one life-time sexual partner than in those with at most one partner.

CONCLUSION:

A history of injecting drug use was elicited as the most important risk factor in Sydney blood donors with antibodies to hepatitis C. Having had a tattoo, and an increased number of lifetime sexual partners were also independently associated with HCV infection.

PMID:
1279364
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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