About 20% to 40% of Hepatitis C virus-infected patients do not have a recognized parenteral risk factor.
This suggests that there are still unidentified modes of transmission.
Dr Raguin and colleagues from France investigated potential routes of Hepatitis C transmission for patients with no recognized parenteral risk factor.
The team of doctors conducted a multicenter case-control study of 450 Hepatitis C-seropositive patients with no history of transfusion or intravenous drug use.
The doctors recruited 757 controls from the general population and were matched for sex, age, geographical residence and number of chronic diseases.
All subjects answered an interviewer-administered questionnaire on potential risk factors for Hepatitis C.
|These factors could explain 73% of community-acquired Hep C|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The team found that 80% of cases had chronic Hepatitis or cirrhosis.
Respective percentages of genotypes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 were 65%, 14%, 11%, 5% and 4%.
Among the 66 items considered, the team identified 15 independent risk factors for Hepatitis C infection.
Admission to medical or surgical ward, digestive endoscopy, and abortion increased the risk for Hepatitis C infection.
The team also noted that outpatient treatments such as cutaneous ulcer and wound care, diathermy, and gamma globulin increased the risk.
Other outpatient treatments including intravenous or intramuscular injections, varicose vein sclerotherapy, and acupuncture increased the risk.
The doctors observed that lifestyle-associated factors such as intranasal cocaine use, and practice of contact sports were risk factors.
The team noted that beauty treatments, and professional pedicures or manicures increased the risk.
These factors could explain 73% of community-acquired Hepatitis C.
Dr Raguin's team concludes, “For patients with unexplained routes of Hepatitis C infection, our data incriminate previously unidentified risk factors, such as abortions, some dermatological procedures, outpatient injections, contact sports, beauty treatments, professional pedicure/manicure.”
“Our results also confirm those already recognized, including hospitalization, digestive endoscopy, acupuncture and intranasal cocaine use.”