Navigation Links
Test All Baby Boomers for Hepatitis C: CDC

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Every American born between 1945 and 1965 should be tested for the liver-destroying virus hepatitis C, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Thursday.

One in 30 Baby Boomers is infected with the virus and most don't know it. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer and other liver diseases, and is the leading cause of liver transplants, the CDC said.

Each year, more than 15,000 Americans, most of them Baby Boomers, die from hepatitis C-related illness, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. Deaths from the virus have been increasing for over a decade and are expected to increase in the coming years.

"And deaths from hepatitis C have nearly doubled over the past decade," CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said during an afternoon news conference. "Unless we take action now, deaths will increase substantially in the coming years."

Baby boomers are five times more likely to have hepatitis C than other adult Americans, Frieden said.

So, the CDC is now recommending one-time testing for hepatitis C for everyone in the country born between 1945 and 1965, he said. All those who test positive for the virus should receive a brief alcohol screening and intervention and be referred to appropriate care and treatment services. Alcohol use has been shown to accelerate the progression of liver disease, the agency added.

Until now, the recommendation had been for testing only those at risk. "But that approach missed far too many infections," Frieden explained.

These new recommendations take into account that more than 2 million Baby Boomers are infected with hepatitis C, accounting for more than 75 percent of all American adults living with the disease.

Many Baby Boomers were infected years ago and don't consider themselves at risk, so they've never been screened, Frieden noted.

Hepatitis C is a "silent killer," living in the liver for years while slowly destroying it, Dr. John Ward, director of the division of viral hepatitis at the CDC, said during the news conference.

Hepatitis C is spread through organ transplants, injected drug use and once even through blood transfusions and sexual contact, he said.

"Testing of Baby Boomers is essential to prevent unnecessary suffering and death from this devastating disease, and to reduce the burden of hepatitis C on our nation's health-care system," Ward said.

Testing Baby Boomers could identify more than 800,000 people with hepatitis C, Frieden said.

Identifying these people and linking them up with treatment could cure up to 75 percent of them. "Getting more people with hepatitis C into treatment could avoid 50,000 cases of liver cancer, nearly 200,000 cases of cirrhosis and more than 102,000 deaths," Ward said.

Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City, said he supports the new recommendation.

"Hepatitis C is a real killer. It leads to a lot of cirrhosis and liver failure and need for liver transplants. It's a subclinical infection and it's often missed until it's too late," he said.

The final recommendations were published in the Aug. 17 issue the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. They were also published online Aug. 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

More information

For more on hepatitis C, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Marc Siegel, M.D., associate professor, medicine, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York City; Aug. 16, 2012, news conference with: Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and John Ward, M.D., director, division of viral hepatitis, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Aug. 17, 2012, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Aging Boomers Mental Health Woes Will Swamp Health System: Report
2. Test Baby Boomers for Hepatitis C, Says CDC
3. Single Boomers Struggling as They Age: Study
4. Annals of Internal Medicine publishes new CDC recommendations on hepatitis C screening
5. Hepatitis A Vaccine for Children Lasts for 10 Years: Study
6. Hepatitis C Treatment May Hamper Kids Growth
7. Hepatitis A vaccination in children under 2 remains effective for 10 years
8. World Hepatitis Day - EASL calls on the United Nations to join the effort to tackle viral hepatitis
9. Smoking Tied to Risk for Hepatitis Return After Liver Transplant
10. NIH scientists identify likely predictors of hepatitis C severity
11. Herbal remedy used to treat hepatitis C proves ineffective, Penn study finds
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... 29, 2015 , ... "I struggled for years with pain every day. I ... would love to do, I missed. We moved back home from living out of ... first. They have changed my life drastically. I love all of the people involved ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... , ... NewsWatch featured X-wing as part of its monthly Tech Report, which ... expert and special reporter for NewsWatch, conducted the review and shared with viewers how ... future because flying cars are about to become a reality. Where’s the idea from? ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... ... While conventional walkers afford considerable help with mobility, their design does not allow ... from Uniontown, Pa., has found a way to address those needs. , He developed ... to improve the user’s quality of life. To begin with, this improved mobility aid ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 29, 2015 , ... ProStatic ... distortion effect tool designed specially for Final Cut Pro X. FCPX ... with the easy-to-use modification controls. Destoying and creating chaotic distortion is now quick ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 29, 2015 , ... Key Housing, a top-rated ... announce their December, 2015, featured apartment community: Epic. In showcasing this featured apartment community ... the tight Bay Area rental market to efficiently find housing suitable to their needs ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ) ... "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type (Reagents & Kits, ... Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application (Research, Clinical Diagnostics), ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 ... "Global Brain Monitoring Devices Market 2015-2019" ... ) has announced the addition ... Market 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... ) has announced the addition of ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of a Biologics License Application (BLA) with ... Administration (FDA) for ABP 501, a biosimilar candidate to ... the first adalimumab biosimilar application submitted to the FDA ... biosimilar pathway. Sean E. Harper , M.D., ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: