Baby boomers: Don’t forget hepatitis C screenings

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hepatitis c vaccine

Published: June, 2018

Baby boomers are falling short in getting hepatitis C screenings. In 2012, the CDC urged the entire generation of people born from 1945 to 1965 to get this simple blood test, noting that baby boomers are five times more likely to have the virus than other adults. But a study published online March 27, 2018, by the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found that only about 13% of baby boomers had been tested by 2015, up just one percentage point from 2013. The information came from national government health surveys. Hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis, liver damage, liver cancer, and liver failure. Treatments are now available that can cure hepatitis C, if it's caught early enough. Baby boomers are believed typically to have become infected in the 1960s through the 1980s, when transmission of hepatitis C was highest. People at highest risk are those who have used intravenous drugs, had more than one sex partner, or received a blood transfusion before 1992, when the blood test for hepatitis C was first available.

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