What Are the Risk Factors for Hepatitis C Infections

What Are the Risk Factors for Hepatitis C Infections

What Are the Risk Factors for Hepatitis C Infections?

• Intravenous drug abusers. Illicit drug users, particularly those who inject drugs intravenously, are among the highest-risk group of hepatitis C patients because they tend to share contaminated needles and syringes. In fact, antibodies against hepatitis C virus are found in 50–80% of all intravenous drug abusers.

• Blood transfusion. About 5–10% of hepatitis C infections are related to blood transfusion. Before 1990, blood donors were not being tested for hepatitis C viruses or their antibodies in the US. People who received blood transfusions or organ transplants before 1990 are at risk of having hepatitis C.

• Hemodialysis. Hemodialysis patients have a higher risk of hepatitis C. Dialysis devices and medications are often contaminated by hepatitis C viruses in hemodialysis clinics. About 10% of hemodialysis patients suffer from hepatitis C infections.

• Health-care professionals. Nurses and other health-care professionals who give intravenous injections to patients could accidentally pierce through their own skin with contaminated needles and become afflicted with hepatitis C infections.


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