The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends one-time hep C testing for people born between 1945 and 1965. This means that if you are a baby boomer, your birth year is the qualifying risk factor. You do not need any other risk factors to be tested.
Here are some reasons the CDC recommends testing all baby boomers for HCV:
- Up to 75 percent of all the people with hep C in the United States were born from 1945 through 1965.
- It is estimated that 45 percent to 85 percent of people with hep C do not know that they have the virus.
- Baby boomers with hep C are facing increasing rates of death and medical complications as a result.
- Hep C is a leading cause of liver cancer and the leading cause of liver transplants; people born from 1945 to 1965 account for 73 percent of all HCV-related deaths.
- Screening baby boomers for hep C may identify 800,000 cases. With proper care and treatment, we may avoid more than 120,000 deaths and save from $1.5 billion to $7.1 billion.
- If we rely on elevated liver enzymes as an indicator of hep C, we may miss 50 percent of cases.