Is there a real risk of contracting hepatitis C from acupuncture? A team of researchers from Seattle and Great Britain say yes, but that the risk is relatively modest.
Researchers from the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth in Great Britain and the Group Health Cooperative's Center for Health Studies in Seattle reviewed studies in an attempt to identify evidence linking acupuncture with infectious hepatitis.
The researchers found 15 studies on the subject with most originating from Asia. Five of them reported links between acupuncture and seropositivity to hepatitis C virus.
Although these studies found that acupuncture increased the risk of hepatitis C only modestly, the researchers said the findings emphasize the importance of exclusively using disposable acupuncture needles.
Other sources: Gastroenterology Hepatology. 2003 Nov;18(11):1231-6