The Test All Baby Boomers Should Get
Were you born between 1946 and 1964? If so, you are considered a Baby Boomer and could be one of the 2.3 million Americans infected with hepatitis C. Hep C is a virus that attacks the liver and can result in lifelong chronic conditions. Hepatitis C is contracted by coming into contact with blood from an infected person. Medical professionals and those who lead risky lifestyles are more likely to be infected, but baby boomers are 5 times more likely to have come into contact with hep C than the average person.
Why Baby Boomers?
The reason that baby boomers are more likely to be infected is unknown, but it could be related to blood transfusions or receiving an organ donation prior to screenings. It is important to undergo screenings for hep C before you have any symptoms so that you can be treated before any organ damage is done. You can be tested for hepatitis C by a simple blood test. You should be screened for hep C if you are a baby boomer, used illicit drugs, shared needles, received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992.
Symptoms And Treatment
Symptoms of hepatitis C include weight loss, easily bleeding or bruising, fatigue, itchy skin, fluid retention and yellowing of the skin or eyes. If you develop any signs or symptoms of hepatitis C, it is important to contact your physician for evaluation and treatment. A 2015 study published in Clinical Liver Disease shows there are drugs that can cure more than 90 percent of chronically HCV-infected people, on average, within three months.
If you are a baby boomer or have other risk factors for hepatitis C talk with your doctor at Vanguard Gastro about screening for the virus. You can visit us at any of our 3 convenient locations.