(Excerpt from press release)
CDC proposed that all Americans born from 1945 through 1965 (“baby boomers”) get a one-time test for the hepatitis C virus. In the United States, hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplants and liver cancer, and the fastest rising cause of cancer-related deaths. Persons born from 1945 through 1965 account for over 75% of adults infected with hepatitis C in the United States, and are five times more likely to be infected than other adults. Yet most do not know that they have the virus because hepatitis C can damage the liver for many years without noticeable symptoms. More than 15,000 Americans-mostly baby boomers-die each year from hepatitis C-related illness, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, and deaths have been increasing steadily for over a decade.