Baby Boomer Couple

As researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lowered their official estimate of the number of Americans living with hepatitis C virus (HCV) from 3.2 million to 2.7 million, they calculated that four in five cases are among baby boomers, MedPage Today reports. Publishing their findings in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the investigators looked at data on 30,074 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2003 and 2010.

With a total of 273 of these participants testing positive for hep C, the investigators calculated that this equated to a U.S. prevalence rate of 1 percent, or 2.7 million people living with the virus. The estimate range was 2.2 million to 3.2 million people, which overlaps with the previous CDC estimate of 3.2 million people with hep C. That calculation was derived from data spanning from 1999 to 2002.

The CDC estimated that baby boomers—those born between 1945 and 1965—account for 81 percent of Americans with hep C. The demographic has an estimated prevalence rate of 2.6 percent, which is six times that of other adults.

To read the MedPage Today story, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.