Study Says Hepatitis C Risk from Tattoo Ink
Researchers have warned of a possible link between tattoos and hepatitis C. So, the next time you plan to get a tattoo, think before you ink.
Reuters Health reports that a new study published in the journal Hepatology has found that, all other major risk factors being taken into consideration, people with the life-threatening hepatitis C infection are four times more likely to report having a tattoo.
The study did not establish a direct cause and effect relationship, but researchers warned that people do a background check about where to get a tattoo.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 3.2 million people in the U.S. suffer from hepatitis C, and many of them might not know because the disease can lie dormant for years before a person starts to feel ill. The disease is the most common cause for liver cancer and the most common reason behind liver transplants.
The study found that 34 percent of people with hepatitis C had a tattoo, compared to 12 percent of people without the infection, according to Reuters. The findings were based on data collected from 2,000 people at outpatient clinics at three New York area hospitals between 2004 and 2006.
Since tattoo parlors do not face much regulatory oversight, consumers are advised to find a tattoo artist who wears disposable gloves, has a clean work space, and uses single-use disposable needle kits.
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