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CDC Urges Hepatitis C Testing for All Baby Boomers

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 17, 2012

Hospitals and physician practices should perform one-time testing on all "baby-boomers," patients born after 1944 and before 1966, for life-threatening hepatitis C virus because surveillance samples indicate 45% to 85% of infected people in this age bracket don't know it, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

The federal health agency indicates that with this one-time testing, 800,000 asymptomatic infections will be discovered, enabling medical and lifestyle interventions to thwart progression of disease and save more than 120,000 lives.

The CDC's recommendations say that people in this age bracket are more likely than people younger or older to be infected, although it's unclear why that is beyond these possible causes:

  • Greater risk from blood transfusions prior to the early 1990s
  • Exposure through injection drug use involving sharing of needles
  • Blood contact with IV drug users
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2 comments on "CDC Urges Hep C Testing for Boomers"


Linda (8/22/2012 at 2:50 PM)
As I understand it the baby boomer years are 1946-1964. Why are they different here?

Crista (8/20/2012 at 9:34 PM)
Those treatements only work if the patient is willing to follow the entire treatment the way it is supposed to be taken. I've watched a woman go through two of the three treatments she has taken and both times she stopped way too early. The first time, the doctor stopped her with 6 months of treatment left (as soon as it was nondectable) and within 6 months it was back and worse. The second treatment, she stopped it prior to finishing it. I feel bad for her, but she needed to have finished the treatment.