Hepatitis C Infection
In collaboration with Dallas internist Paul Fischer, M.D., the Division of Epidemiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center published the first study implicating commercial tattoo parlors in transmission of asymptomatic hepatitis C infection in the U.S. [Reference]
When the article appeared, national public health authorities did not recognize commercial tattooing as a major means of transmission. This lack of recognition was primarily due to the confusion between the different epidemiologic features of intradermal HCV transmission by tattooing and massive HCV transmission through blood transfusions and intravenous drug abuse. Division researchers clarified these issues in a second paper. [Reference]
Numerous studies have since confirmed tattooing as a major risk factor for transmission of asymptomatic HCV infections.