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Wellness Tip

Baby Boomers: Get Tested for Hepatitis C

by Berkeley Wellness  

People born between 1945 and 1965 (baby boomers) should be tested for hepatitis C, as recommended by the CDC since 2012. But only 14 percent of them had been tested as of 2015 (the most recent data), according to a recent report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Most of the estimated 3.5 million Americans who have chronic hepatitis C don’t know it, because it can take decades for signs or symptoms to develop, at which point liver damage may be severe. About 80 percent of those infected are baby boomers. The virus can eventually cause cirrhosis and liver cancer, killing about 17,000 Americans each year. Many people became infected via transfusions before 1992.

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, as there is for hepatitis A and B, but new therapies can cure the infection. The earlier treatment begins, the better the prognosis.

Also see Hepatitis C Infections on the Rise.