“Approximately 3.5 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the U.S., 80 percent of whom are baby boomers,” wrote Ahmedin Jemal, PhD, and Stacey Fedewa, PhD, of the American Cancer Society’s Surveillance and Health Services Research. “Most infected individuals are not aware of their infections despite availability of treatments that may reduce their risk of HCV-related diseases, including chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and liver cancer.”
In 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended that baby boomers should be tested for HCV to help control the spread of HCV-associated diseases. To investigate whether HCV testing actually increased following the USPSTF recommendation, researchers analyzed the medical data of 21,827 baby boomers.
Results showed that between 2013 and 2015, HCV testing slightly increased, from 12.3 to 13.8 percent.
Among insured adults, the prevalence of HCV testing was higher among those with Medicare plus Medicaid, Medicaid alone or military insurance. Testing was more frequent among men than women, and among people living with someone infected with HCV. Furthermore, those with less than or only a high school diploma were less likely to be tested for Hepatitis C than college graduates
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