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Baby boomers should get hepatitis C test, CDC says

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 4, 2012

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said all baby boomers should be tested for hepatitis C. The agency, which drafted the guidance in May, is expected to make a final recommendation this year.

One in 30 baby boomers — Americans born between 1946 and 1965 — has been infected with the virus, the CDC said. Most do not know they are infected. About 15,000 Americans die from hepatitis C-related illness every year, and that figure has been increasing during the past decade (link).

Existing CDC guidelines call for testing only individuals with certain known risk factors. But research has shown that baby boomers are not getting tested because they believe they are not at risk.

The CDC estimates that more than 120,000 lives could be saved through one-time testing of baby boomers.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/06/04/hlbf0604.htm.

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