Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Attention baby boomers: Get screened for hepatitis C

Date:
April 26, 2013
Source:
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC)
Summary:
People born during 1945 through 1965 are five times more likely than other adults to be infected with hepatitis C. If you were born during these years, talk to your doctor about getting tested.

If you were born during 1945-1965, talk to your doctor about getting tested for hepatitis C. Baby boomers are five times more likely than other adults to be infected. In fact, 75 percent of adults with hepatitis C were born during these years.

Related Articles


The word "hepatitis" means swelling of the liver. Hepatitis is most often caused by a virus. In the United States, the most common type of viral hepatitis is hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is primarily spread through contact with blood from an infected person. More than 15,000 Americans, most of them baby boomers, die each year from hepatitis C-related illness.

Deaths related to hepatitis C have been on the rise and are expected to increase. Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer and the leading reason for liver transplants. Other serious health problems related to hepatitis C include:

  • Liver damage
  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver failure

The reason that baby boomers have the highest rates of hepatitis C is not completely understood. Most boomers may have become infected in the 1970s and 1980s when rates of hepatitis C were the highest. Many baby boomers could have gotten infected from tainted blood and blood products before testing of the blood supply began in 1992. Others may have become infected from injecting drugs, even if only once in the past. Still, many baby boomers do not know how or when they were infected.

People with hepatitis C often have no symptoms and can live for decades without feeling sick. As baby boomers grow older, there is a greater chance that they will develop life-threatening liver disease from hepatitis C.

Risk factors for hepatitis infection include:

  • History of blood transfusions or other blood products (before July 1992)
  • Organ transplant before widespread testing for HIV and hepatitis (before July 1992)
  • Long-term dialysis treatment
  • Exposure to hepatitis C such as through a healthcare setting (healthcare needle sticks)
  • Infection with HIV, the AIDS virus
  • Children born to mothers who have hepatitis C
  • Any past use of injected illegal drugs
  • Having received a tattoo with needles that were not properly disinfected

The only way to know if you have hepatitis C is to get tested. Early detection can save lives. There is a simple blood test to determine if a person has ever been infected with the hepatitis C virus. It is estimated that one-time testing of everyone born during 1945 through 1965 will prevent more than 120,000 deaths.

Knowing your diagnosis early and getting treatment can help prevent liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. There are no vaccines to prevent hepatitis C.

Many people who have been diagnosed with hepatitis C can be successfully treated with medications called antivirals. Two new medicines are now available (telaprevir and boceprevir), that when added to the standard treatment can increase the effectiveness and shorten treatment time for many people. For many people, medical treatment can result in clearing hepatitis C from the bloodstream.

Talk to your doctor about getting tested -- it could save your life!


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). "Attention baby boomers: Get screened for hepatitis C." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130426211102.htm>.
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). (2013, April 26). Attention baby boomers: Get screened for hepatitis C. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130426211102.htm
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). "Attention baby boomers: Get screened for hepatitis C." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130426211102.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins