People born from 1945-1965 are five times more likely to have Hepatitis C, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). While anyone can get Hepatitis C, people born during these years are at greater risk, which is the reason the CDC encourages baby boomers to get tested.
It is not completely understood why baby boomers have higher rates of Hepatitis C. Most boomers are believed to have become infected in the 1970s and 1980s when rates of Hepatitis C were the highest.
Hepatitis C is primarily spread through contact with blood from an infected person. Many baby boomers could have become infected from contaminated blood and blood products before widespread screening of the blood supply in 1992 and universal precautions were adopted. Others may have become infected from injecting drugs, even if only once in the past.
Why should baby boomers get tested? Consider these facts:
- Liver disease, liver cancer and deaths from Hepatitis C are on the rise
- The longer people live with Hepatitis C, the more likely they are to develop serious, life-threatening liver disease
- Getting tested can help people learn if they are infected and get them into life-saving care and treatment
For many people, treatment is available that can cure Hepatitis C and prevent liver damage, cirrhosis and even liver cancer. The only way to know if you have Hepatitis C is to get tested. For more information about Hepatitis C or to get screened, talk to your primary physician or visit www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis.
Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention