CDC Urges Hepatitis C Testing for All Baby Boomers
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