health

Baby boomers should be screened for hepatitis C

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 1, 2013

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

A federal panel joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in calling for one-time screening for the hepatitis C virus among baby boomers.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation to screen all adults born between 1945 and 1965 was published in the June 25 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. It differs slightly from the CDC guidance, which encourages screening for individuals born between 1946 and 1965.

The task force also suggests that physicians test people at high risk of infection. Risk factors include current or past injection drug use, incarceration and being a recipient of a blood transfusion before 1992.

The guidance applies to asymptomatic adults without known liver disease or functional abnormalities. It updates the task force’s 2004 recommendation against routine hepatitis C screening in adults (link).

Researchers assessed studies published since 2004 and focused on evidence gaps that were identified in the previous task force recommendation. They found that one-time screening among baby boomers might identify infected patients at an earlier, more treatable stage of disease.

An estimated 3.2 million Americans have chronic hepatitis C infection, according to the CDC. About 75% of people living with the infection were born from 1945 to 1965, and many are unaware they’re infected, the task force said. Infection with the hepatitis C virus can cause cancer, inflammation and permanent liver damage.

Back to top


ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE


Featured
Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story


Read story

Goodbye

American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story


Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story


Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story


Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story


Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story


Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story


Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story