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CDC Urges Hepatitis C Testing for All Baby Boomers

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 17, 2012

An estimated 2.7 million to 3.9 million people are living with hepatitis C in the U.S., the CDC says. "Incidence increased markedly during the 1970s and 1980s, reaching an average of 230,000 new infections each year throughout the 1980s," the agency's guidelines say.

Incidence declined rapidly in the 1990s because of blood donor screening in 1992 and because of reduced new infections among people who inject drugs through 2006.

Since then, numbers have remained stable, "with 17,000 new infections in 2010."  However, the guideline warns that many people have been living with hepatitis C for 20 to 40 years, and now "are at increased risk for HCV-related morbidity and mortality." 

In fact, hepatitis C-related mortality has increased more than 50% between 1999 and 2007 and now outpaces deaths from HIV.

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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.