Hostname: page-component-588bc86c8c-pzvk2 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-12-01T06:59:03.203Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Risk factors for hepatitis C virus infection. A case-control study of blood donors in the Trent Region (UK)*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 May 2009

K. R. Neal
Department of Public Health Medicine and Epidemiology, University Hospital, Queen's Medical Centre, University of NottinghamNG7 2UH
D. A. Jones
Trent Region Blood Transfusion Service, Longley Lane, Sheffield S5 7JN
D. Killey
Trent Region Blood Transfusion Service, Longley Lane, Sheffield S5 7JN
V. James
Trent Region Blood Transfusion Service, Longley Lane, Sheffield S5 7JN
Rights & Permissions [Opens in a new window]


Core share and HTML view are not possible as this article does not have html content. However, as you have access to this content, a full PDF is available via the ‘Save PDF’ action button.

The introduction of screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) by the National Blood Transfusion Service identified donors who had acquired HCV infection. We undertook a case-control study amongst blood donors in the Trent Region to determine risks for HCV infection. A total of 74 blood donors confirmed positive for hepatitis C infection and 150 age, sex and donor venue matched controls were included in the study. Fifty-three percent of hepatitis C infected blood donors reported previous use of injected drugs compared to no controls; relative risk (RR) not estimatable (lower limit 95% CI = 20). Other risk factors were a history of: receipt of a blood transfusion or blood products RR = 3·6 (95% CI 1·5–8·3), having been a ‘health care worker’ RR = 2·8 (95% CI 1·1–7·6), tattooing RR = 3·3 (95% CI 1·2–8·7), and an association with having been born abroad RR = 3·2 (95% CI 1·1–9·5). No risk was shown for a history of multiple sexual partners, ear piercing or acupuncture. Injecting drug use explains more than 50% of hepatitis C infections in blood donors, a group who are less likely to have injected drugs than the general population.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1994



1.Alter, HJ, Purcell, RH, Shih, JW et al. , Detection of antibody to hepatitis C virus in prospectively followed transfused recipients with acute and chronic non-A, non-B hepatitis. N Engl J Med 1989; 321: 14941500.Google Scholar
2.Aach, RD, Stevens, CE, Hollinger, FB et al. , Hepatitis C virus in post-transfusion hepatitis. An analysis with first- and second-generation assays. N Engl J Med 1991; 325: 1325–9.Google Scholar
3.Esteban, JI, Esteban, R, Viladomiu, L et al. , Hepatitis C virus antibodies among risk groups in Spain. Lancet 1989; ii: 294–6.Google Scholar
4.Alter, MJ, Hadler, SC, Judson, FN et al. , Risk factors for acute non-A, non-B hepatitis in the United States and association with hepatitis C virus infection. JAMA 1990; 264: 2231–5.Google Scholar
5.Hollinger, FB, Lin, HJ. Community-acquired hepatitis C virus infection. Gastroenterology 1992; 102: 1426–9.Google Scholar
6.Craske, J. Hepatitis C and non-A non-B hepatitis revisited: hepatitis E, F. and G. J Infect 1992; 25: 243–50.Google Scholar
7.Kaldor, JM, Archer, GT, Buring, ML et al. , Risk factors for hepatitis C virus infection in blood donors: a case-control study. Med J Aust 1992; 157: 227–30.Google Scholar
8.Esteban, JI, López-Talavera, JC, Genescà, J et al. High rate of infectivity and liver disease in blood donors with antibodies to hepatitis C virus. Ann Int Med 1991; 115: 443–9.Google Scholar
9.Dean, AG, Dean, JA, Burton, AH, Dicker, RC. Epi Info, Version 5: a word processing. database, and statistics package for epidemiology on microcomputers. USD. Incorporated. Stone Mountain, Georgia, 1990Google Scholar
10.EGRET: user's guide. Seattle: Statistics and Epidemiological Research Corporation, 1989.Google Scholar
11.Breslow, NE, Day, NE. Statistical methods in cancer research. Vol 1. The analysis of case control studies. Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1980.Google Scholar
12.MacClennan, S. Barbara, JA, Hewitt, P, Moore, C, Contreras, M. Screening blood donations for HCV. Lancet 1992; 339: 131–2.Google Scholar
13.Klein, RS, Freeman, K, Taylor, PE, Stevens, CE. Occupational risk for hepatitis C virus infection among New York dentists. Lancet 1991; 338: 1539–42.Google Scholar
14.Jochen, ABB. Occupationally acquired hepatitis C virus infection. Lancet 1992; 339: 304.Google Scholar
15.Nakashima, K. Kashiwagi, S, Hayashi, J et al. , Low prevalence of hepatitis C infection among hospital staff and acupuncturists in Kyushu, Japan. J Infect 1993: 26: 1725.Google Scholar
16.Abildgaard, N, Peterslunds, NA. Hepatitis C virus transmitted by tattooing needle. Lancet 1991; 338: 460.Google Scholar
17.Eyster, ME, Alter, HJ, Aledort, LM, Quan, S, Hatzakis, A, Goedert, JJ. Heterosexual co-transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Ann Int Med 1991; 115: 764–8.Google Scholar
18.Melbye, M, Biggar, RJ, Wantzin, P, Krogsgaard, K, Ebbesen, P, Becker, NG. Sexual transmission of hepatitis C virus: cohort study (1981–9) among European homosexual men. BMJ 1990; 301: 210–12.Google Scholar
19.Peano, GM, Fenoglio, LM, Menardi, G, Balbo, R, Marenchino, D, Fenoglio, S. Heterosexual transmission of hepatitis C virus in family groups without risk factors. BMJ 1992; 305: 1473–4.Google Scholar
20.Alter, MJ. Coleman, PJ, Alexander, WJ et al. , Importance of heterosexual activity in the transmission of hepatitis B and non-A, non-B hepatitis. JAMA 1989; 262: 1201–5.Google Scholar
21.Osmond, DH, Charlebois, E, Shepperd, HW et al. , Comparison of risk factors for hepatitis C and hepatitis B virus infection in homosexual men. J Infect Dis 1993; 167: 6671.Google Scholar
22. Anonymous. Hepatitis B associated with an acupuncture clinic. CDR 1992; 2 (48): 219.Google Scholar
23.De Luca, M. Ascione, A, Vacca, C, Zarone, A. Are health-care workers really at risk of HCV infection? Lancet 1992; 339: 1364–5.Google Scholar
24.Bancroft, J. Sexual behaviour in Britain and France. BMJ 1992; 305: 1447–8.Google Scholar
25.Rothman, KJ. Modern epidemiology. Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1986.Google Scholar