Navigation Links
U.S. Task Force: Baby Boomers Should Be Tested for Hepatitis C
Date:11/27/2012

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. task force suggests that people at high risk for the hepatitis C virus should be screened, which includes those with a history of intravenous drug use and those who received blood transfusions before 1992.

But, the guidelines also address another, lower-risk group -- the baby boomer generation.

The new U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines, released Monday and updated from 2004, take a somewhat softer stance than those of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which say that all baby boomers should get screened for hepatitis C. By contrast, the task force suggests that clinicians "consider" screening for this age group, which includes those born between 1946 and 1964.

Screening for hepatitis C involves a simple, inexpensive blood test. Unlike other types of hepatitis, there is no vaccine available for hepatitis C. Treatment typically involves a course of antiviral medication.

Hepatitis C is considered a silent killer because it is often symptomless. Undiagnosed and untreated, hepatitis C can result in liver cancer, liver failure and liver transplants.

Risk factors for hepatitis C infection include a history of blood transfusions before widespread adoption of screening and infection control measures, long-term dialysis treatment, exposure to hepatitis C in health care settings, having HIV/AIDS, tattooing in unregulated or unsafe parlors and IV drug use.

"Our recommendations are that people who are known to be at high risk -- such as people with a history of IV drug [use] and those who had blood transfusions prior to 1992 -- should be screened," said task force member Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, an associate professor of medicine and of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco.

People at highest risk have about a 50 percent chance of being infected with hepatitis C; whereas people born between 1946 and 1964 have a 3 percent to 4 percent chance of being infected, she said.

Bibbins-Domingo said the task force took less a stringent stance on testing for all baby boomers because many people with hepatitis C will live for a long time without progressive disease, and current treatments don't help everyone. "We have effective treatments, but not everybody who has hepatitis C will go on to develop liver failure or liver cancer," she said. "We are in an era where treatments are rapidly evolving, and recommendations may change as treatments get better."

One liver disease expert weighed in on screening for the 47-to-67 age group.

Dr. David Bernstein, chief of hepatology at North Shore-LIJ Healthcare System, in Manhasset, N.Y, said baby boomers should get screened for hepatitis C. "I think the guidelines should have been a little stronger for people born from 1945 to 1965," he said.

"The current therapies have cure rates of 70 to 75 percent," Bernstein said. "In a couple of years, newer therapies may be available which will have much higher cure rates but this is [already] very high."

Get screened, he advised. "Hepatitis C is the most common reason for a liver transplant and development of liver cancer, but if you catch it, you can halt the progression of disease and cure it."

The task force guidelines are now open for a period of public comment.

More information

Get the facts about hepatitis C at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, M.D., Ph.D. associate professor, medicine, and epidemiology and biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco; David Bernstein, M.D., chief, hepatology, North Shore-LIJ Healthcare System, Manhasset, N.Y.; Nov. 27, 2012, report, "Screening for Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Adults: A Systematic Review to Update the 2004 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation"


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Single Boomers Struggling as They Age: Study
2. Test Baby Boomers for Hepatitis C, Says CDC
3. Aging Boomers Mental Health Woes Will Swamp Health System: Report
4. Test All Baby Boomers for Hepatitis C: CDC
5. More Baby Boomers Opting to Cohabit, Not Marry
6. Marathons Safe for Aging Boomers, Study Finds
7. Boomers and beyond
8. Gen X overtaking baby boomers on obesity
9. Early 50s may be key time to reach baby boomers with health messages
10. Boomers Zero In on Health at Age 50 and 65, Study Says
11. Canada should play a role in addressing the global cancer epidemic
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
U.S. Task Force: Baby Boomers Should Be Tested for Hepatitis C 
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is proud ... and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise funds and ... the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 a.m. – ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, ... lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an ... and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning ... Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( ... today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The ... get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, ... a medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, ... hair transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/5/2017)... 2017  In response to the nationwide opioid ... Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that urge ibuprofen ... as a first-line therapy to manage a patient,s ... Recognizing the value and importance of ... Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" stresses that ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , Oct. 2, 2017  Eli Lilly ... its financial results for the third quarter of 2017 ... a conference call on that day with the investment ... performance. The conference call will begin at ... public can access a live webcast of the conference ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... 2017 Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early Signal ... wearable and home sensors for real-time monitoring of patients ... a nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health solutions for ... analytical system to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, physiological ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: