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Test all Baby Boomers for Hepatitis C. Really?

CDC: Boomers need HVC testing

Baby Boomers make up about one-third of the United States population with a startling number of Hepatitis C (HCV) infections. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe that the Baby Boomers, those born between 1945 and 1965, should undergo one-time testing for HCV. Previously, CDC recommended testing only if risk factors such as IV drug use, blood transfusion, or organ transplant existed. Testing for those in healthcare or other high risk occupations (including EMS and nursing) should be tested.

Given that as many as 2 million baby boomers are infected with HCV and many of the 15,000 Americans who will die from the disease are boomers, risk-based screening is no longer enough. According to the CDC -
"...newly available therapies that can cure up to 75 percent of infections, expanded testing – along with linkage to appropriate care and treatment – would prevent the costly consequences of liver cancer and other chronic liver diseases and save more than 120,000 lives." 

  Why are baby boomers at such increased risk for HCV? One theory attributes the increased risk to past behavior, suggesting boomers participated in activities that placed them at risk for HCV. 

HCV can be contracted by occupational exposure. I wonder what the ramifications will be for those baby boomers, who by definition now have increased risk of having HCV, have an undocumented occupational exposure in their past? 


http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/769361
http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/Newsroom/2012/HCV-Testing-Recs-PressRelease.html

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