video: CDC Recommends Hepatitis C Test for All Baby Boomers
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The final recommendations are published in today’s issue of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
“A one-time blood test for hepatitis C should be on every baby boomer’s medical checklist,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “The new recommendations can protect the health of an entire generation of Americans and save thousands of lives.”
Everyone is now considered at risk
CDC’s previous recommendations called for testing only individuals with certain known risk factors for hepatitis C infection. Risk-based screening will continue to be important, but is not sufficient alone. More than 2 million U.S. baby boomers are infected with hepatitis C – accounting for more than 75 percent of all American adults living with the virus. Studies show that many baby boomers were infected with the virus decades ago, do not perceive themselves to be at risk, and have never been screened.
"What the CDC has determined is that the vast majority of Amercans with hepatitis C are unaware of their infection," said Lynn E. Taylor, M.D., from The Miriam Hospital's Division of Infectious Diseases, "and what the CDC has said is that risk-based testing isn't working." Taylor said that she recommends that all baby boomers have a test for hepatitis C.
More than 150,000 die each year
More than 15,000 Americans, most of them baby boomers, die each year from hepatitis C-related illness, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, and deaths have been increasing steadily for over a decade and are projected to grow significantly in coming years.
CDC estimates one-time hepatitis C testing of baby boomers could identify more than 800,000 additional people with hepatitis C. And with newly available therapies that can cure up to 75 percent of infections, expanded testing – along with linkage to appropriate care and treatment – would prevent the costly consequences of liver cancer and other chronic liver diseases and save more than 120,000 lives.
See Dr. Taylor discuss the new recommendations here. For additional information about hepatitis, visit www.cdc.gov/hepatitis.
For more Health coverage, don't miss GoLocalTV, fresh every day at 4pm and on demand 24/7, here.
- Coaches Can Help Weight Loss—New Miriam Research
- Miriam Attacks “Silent Epidemic” in HIV Patients
- Miriam Expert: Is Beer Good for You?
- Miriam Hospital: Yoga to Help Women with Quitting Smoking
- Obesity Gene Dictates Food Choices—Miriam Research
- NEW: RI Hospital, Miriam Name New Chief of Infectious Diseases
- Young Men At Risk For Erectile Dysfunction—Miriam Experts
- Type 2 Diabetes Linked To Blood Cancers—Miriam Research