CDC recommends hepatitis C testing for all baby boomers
June 08, 2012
The Iowa Department of Public Health says that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing draft recommendations that all U.S. baby boomers – those born between 1945 and 1965 – get a one-time test for the hepatitis C virus. According to the CDC, one in 30 baby boomers has been infected with hepatitis C, and most do not know it. This adds up to over two million individuals and accounts for more than 75 percent of all American adults living with the virus. More than 15,000 Americans, mostly baby boomers, die each year from hepatitis C-related illness.
Deaths have been increasing steadily over a decade and are projected to grow significantly in the coming years. CDC estimates that the one-time hepatitis C testing of baby boomers could identify more than 800,000 additional people with the virus, allowing for treatment, preventing chronic liver diseases (such as cirrhosis and liver cancer) and saving more than 120,000 lives. The State Hygienic Laboratory, Iowa's public health laboratory, offers hepatitis C IgG antibody testing. To read the full CDC press release, visit www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/HepTestingRecsPressRelease2012.html.