Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hepatitis C Tests for Baby Boomers

Periodically, the federal government puts out a health alert that pertains to Baby Boomers and, when it does, this blog tries to respond quickly to get the word out, especially if the health alert is a matter of life and death.  Few things are more important to Baby Boomers who are planning their retirement than making sure they are doing everything possible to maintain their health.

Boomers Should Get Tested for Hepatitis C

In May 2012, the Centers for Disease Control proposed that every American born between 1945 and 1965 (the Baby Boomers) should see their doctors and ask for a one time test for the Hepatitis C virus.  In the United States, Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplants and liver cancer.  The need is urgent, because liver cancer is the fastest rising cause of cancer deaths in our country.

This information should be shared with all the Baby Boomers you know.  The CDC estimates that 75% of the people in this country who have Hepatitis C are Baby Boomers, which means that approximately 2 million Baby Boomers are currently infected with this deadly disease.  Five times as many Baby Boomers have the virus as other adults, and most of them do not know it.  In the case of this disease, ignorance is not bliss.  The virus can be damaging your liver for years before the symptoms become noticeable.  As a result, over 15,000 Americans are dying each year from Hepatitis C related illnesses.

The CDC believes it is extremely important that Baby Boomers be tested as soon as possible because new treatments can now cure up to 75% of infections caused by Hepatitis C.  The CDC estimates that screening for this disease could save thousands of lives.

If you want to read more about the CDC recommendations, here is the link to an article about it in the Federal Register:

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/05/22/2012-12323/recommendations-for-the-identification-of-hepatitis-c-virus-hcv-chronic-infection#p-3 

Citizens are even invited to submit their comments about Hepatitis C testing for Baby Boomers.

Meanwhile, the next time you see your doctor for your annual physical, ask him if he thinks you should be tested for Hepatitis C.  It could save your life.

You are reading from the blog:  http://baby-boomer-retirement.blogspot.com

Photo courtesy of www.morguefile.com

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