Baby Boomers: Is Hepatitis C in Your Future?

by Cathy Miller on August 28, 2012

in Health and Wellness

Baby boomers put the social in change long before Facebook was a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye.

In fact, long before Zuckerberg was a twinkle in his daddy’s eye.

Many boomers (those born between 1945 through 1965) invented sharing.

  • Love, drugs, rock-n-roll
  • And a whole lot more

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) hopes baby boomers share something else – testing for hepatitis C. 

One-Time Test

The CDC published a recommendation in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report  that all boomers receive a one-time test for the hepatitis C virus.

The recommendation stems from increasing concern over the number of baby boomers infected by the virus – an estimated 1 in 30. The age-group is five times more likely to carry the hepatitis C virus.

The official announcement is a change from the CDC’s previous position that recommended testing only for individuals with known risk factors.

  • CDC reports more than 15,000 Americans die each year from hepatitis C-related illness
  • The agency estimates testing could identify 800,000 individuals with hepatitis C
  • With appropriate care, CDC estimates more than 120,000 lives could be saved

About Hepatitis C

A virus causes the hepatitis C disease,  infecting the liver, which can lead to liver damage (including cirrhosis) or liver failure, as well as liver cancer.

Adding to the concern is the fact that most people with the virus don’t know they have it.

Causes

The virus spreads through contact with an infected person’s blood.

  • Through shared needles (can you say Haight-Ashbury?)
  • Before 1992, through blood transfusions and organ transplants

And blood is what your physician needs to test for the virus.

Testing, testing

Although this baby boomer was not the wear a flower in your hair participant, I plan on asking my physician about it at my next annual physical.

I figured this was the kind of sharing I wanted to do. What do other boomers think?

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Notice of Disclaimer –Cathy Miller is not an attorney or health care provider and cannot provide legal or health care advice. The information provided is for your general background only, and is not intended to constitute legal or health care advice as to your specific circumstances. We recommend you review legislation with legal counsel and visit your physician for health care issues.

 

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Giffen August 28, 2012 at 11:16 am

Good info. In some areas, caring is NOT sharing! LOL
Martha Giffen´s last blog post ..The Secret To Being A Successful Online MarketerMy Profile

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Cathy August 28, 2012 at 11:34 am

LOL, Martha. Good point. ;-) Thanks for stopping by.

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Ann August 28, 2012 at 11:36 am

I know I was around during that period, but I didn’t share needles or blood. Is there any other way a person could have gotten Hep C?

Thanks for the info, Cathy. Next time I see the dr, I’ll ask for the test.

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Cathy August 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Hi Ann: I wasn’t a needle-sharer or any other kind of drug user either. I was a good girl. :-) Like almost anything, there are always exceptions. Mayo Clinic lists the following examples:
1) Blood transfusions and organ transplants before 1992. Improved blood-screening tests became available in 1992.
2) Shared needles. HCV can also spread through sharing contaminated needles when injecting drugs.
3) Childbirth. A small number of babies born to mothers with hepatitis C acquire the infection during childbirth.
4) Sexual contact. In rare cases, HCV may be transmitted sexually.

Here’s the link to their site as I sure do not qualify as an MD (although I played one on TV) ;-)
Mayo Clinic- Causes of Hepatitis C

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Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. August 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Love this post (not the topic per se, but the publicity). I have one scheduled for my blog on Friday (due to the queue on my blog, this announcement- even in a rush can only nuzzle its way so much).
Take Cathy’s advice!!!!
Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.´s last blog post ..Free Will… or Free Won’t?My Profile

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Cathy August 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Roy – so glad I won’t be trying to follow your act. You are much smarter! ;-)

Thanks for stopping by. Let us know when your post goes live.

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Kristen August 28, 2012 at 9:09 pm

I think that this is good information for people of any age who may be at risk for Hepatitis C. It is a good thing to mention to your doctor the next time that you visit him or her. Your doctor can help figure out if a test might be needed.
Kristen´s last blog post ..How To Prepare for A Hurricane: Stress Management TipsMy Profile

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Cathy August 29, 2012 at 6:13 am

You are right about that, Kristen. Thanks for recommending it.

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Lisa Kanarek August 29, 2012 at 8:08 am

Very good advice, Cathy. There’s no doubt doctors are inundated with requests for different tests. My annual exam is coming up soon. I’ll add this to the list.

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Cathy August 29, 2012 at 8:18 am

Hi Lisa: Glad you found it helpful. I figure it doesn’t hurt to ask my physician’s opinion. Thanks for stopping by, Lisa.

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