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 21 February 2018

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News

Acupuncture increases risk of HCV infection

Repeated acupuncture and blood transfusion before 1992 both increase the risk of HCV infection, claim researchers from South Korea and France.

News image

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The team evaluated the prevalence of and the risk factors for hepatitis C and B viruses among inhabitants of a rural area of South Korea.

They published their results in the latest issue of the British Journal of Cancer.

A total of 700 adults above the age of 40 years were studied.

Seropositivity for hepatitis C virus antibody (11%) was found to be higher than that for hepatitis B surface antigen (4.4%).

Repeated acupuncture increases HCV risk by 2-fold.
British Journal of Cancer

Anti-hepatitis C virus seropositivity was associated with a history of repeated acupuncture (odds ratio = 2.1).

It was also linked with blood transfusion (odds ratio = 5.5) before 1992, when hepatitis C virus screening in blood donors became mandatory.

The researchers found that hepatitis C virus 2a was the most prevalent genotype, followed by 1b.

Hepatitis C virus risk attributable to acupuncture was 38% (9% for men and 55% for women).

The authors comment that safer acupuncture practice has become a priority for hepatitis C virus prevention in South Korea.

Br J Cancer 2002; 87: 314-8
25 July 2002

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