Toronto, ON – A new survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of the Canadian Liver Foundation found that among Canadians born between 1945 and 1975, only one quarter (25%) say they have been tested for hepatitis C, while three quarters (53% say no, 22% say don’t know) have not been tested or don’t know if they have been tested.
Only three in ten (29%) Canadians born between 1945 and 1975 believe their own age group has the most people living with hepatitis C, despite this age group being the most at-risk for the disease. The age groups perceived to have the most people living with hepatitis C are young adults age 20-35 (41%) and adults 35-45 (46%).
The vast majority (86%) have heard of hepatitis C (14% have not), and over three quarters (77%) know the liver is the most affected organ. Over one in ten (12%) believe the kidneys are the most affected, 2% each believe the lungs or stomach, 1% said heart, and 7% said none of those organs are affected by hepatitis C. Six in ten (60%) know you can have hepatitis C and not know it; however one in ten (10%) did not know this, and three in ten (30%) were unsure.
Canadians born between 1945 and 1975 think the three most risky activities for contracting hepatitis C are using intravenous drugs (74%), getting a blood transfusion (71%), and getting a tattoo (68%). The entire list is below:
Among a list of infectious diseases, only one in ten (11%) Canadians ranked hepatitis C as the disease causing the highest rates of premature death. Over four in ten (44%) chose HIV/AIDS as having the highest death rates, one quarter (26%) chose the flu, one in ten (9%) chose tuberculosis, 6% said hepatitis B, and 4% said HPV.
Canadians born between 1945 and 1975 report the most motivating factor to get tested or talk to their doctor about hepatitis C is a recommendation from their doctor (70%), followed by realizing they may have a risk factor (44%). The full list of responses is shown below:
- Over seven in ten respondents from Atlantic provinces (79%), Alberta (77%), BC (76%), Saskatchewan/Manitoba (76%), Quebec (76%) Ontario (72%), have not been tested or don’t know if they have been tested for hepatitis C.
- Ontario (10%) and Quebec (10%) respondents were among the least likely to rank hepatitis C as the causing the highest rates of premature death, compared to Atlantic provinces (15%), BC (14%), Alberta (11%), and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (11%).
- Respondents in Quebec (61%) are also the least likely to believe hepatitis C leads to liver failure, death, liver cancer, cirrhosis, or liver transplant, compared to Saskatchewan/Manitoba (75%), Alberta (70%), Ontario (65%), Atlantic (63%), and BC (63%).
- Respondents in Atlantic (61%) and Quebec (61%) are least likely to know that getting a tattoo could put you at risk for hepatitis C compared to BC (73%), Ontario (71%), Alberta (69%), and Saskatchewan/Manitoba (67%).