Testing for Hepatitis C Virus Remains Low Among Baby Boomers


A brief report appearing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine looks at testing rates for hepatitis C virus (HCV) two years after the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended it for all baby boomers, and finds rates are still very low.

Approximately 3.5 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Most of those (80%) are "baby boomers" (born between 1945 and 1965), and most of them are unaware of their infections despite availability of treatments that may reduce their risk of HCV-related diseases, including chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended one-time HCV testing for baby boomers in 2013.

In a 2013 report, the authors noted low HCV testing prevalence among baby boomers. However, it is unknown whether HCV testing has changed following the USPSTF recommendation.
Investigators studied responses from nearly 24,000 baby boomers included in the National Health Interview Survey. From 2013 to 2015, HCV testing prevalence among baby boomers increased slightly, from 12.3% to 13.8%. Of the 76.2 million estimated baby boomers in 2015, only 10.5 million reported ever receiving HCV testing. Those with Medicare plus Medicaid, Medicaid only, or military insurance had higher rates of HCV testing than the privately insured. HCV testing was also greater in men versus women, and among college graduates

"Prevalence of HCV testing among baby boomers did not substantially increase and remains low two years after the USPSTF recommendation in 2013," write the authors. "These findings underscore the need for increased awareness for HCV testing among healthcare providers and baby boomers and other innovative strategies such as state-mandated HCV testing."

Reference: Recent Hepatitis C Virus Testing Patterns Among Baby Boomers; Am J Prevent Med 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.01.033

Source: American Cancer Society

Related Videos
An eye instrument holding an intraocular lens for cataract surgery. How to clean and sterilize it appropriately?   (Adobe Stock 417326809By Mohammed)
Christopher Reid, PhD  (Photo courtesy of Christopher Reid, PhD)
Paper with words antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and glasses.   (Adobe Stock 126570978 by Vitalii Vodolazskyi)
3D illustration: Candida auris   (Adobe Stock 635576411 By Niamh )
 MIS-C (Adobe Stock 350657530 by Bernard Chantal)
Set of white bottles with cleaning liquids on the white background. (Adobe Stock 6338071172112 by zolnierek)
Medical investigators going over data. (AdobeStock 589197902 by Wasan)
CDC logo is seen on a laptop. (Adobe Stock 428450603 by monticellllo)
Association for the Health Care Environment (Logo used with permission)
Related Content