Baby Boomers Beware Hepatitis C: Your Hidden Illness

three baby boomer women taking a selfie
Are you aware, that baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) have a greater possibility of being infected with the Hepatitis C virus? Not only that, often they do not show symptoms for many years.

That is a reason for concern.

Hepatitis C is a serious liver condition caused by an infection with the Hepatitis C virus. 

Seventy to 85 percent of those with Hepatitis C develop a chronic infection.

Chronic infection can advance to liver disease, liver cancer, and death. Around 3.5 million people in the U.S. have Hepatitis C and have no idea they have it.

What is most disturbing is that those with the highest risk are not aware that they can be living with this silent epidemic.

Seventy-five percent of people with Hepatitis C are aging baby boomers. Boomers are five times more apt to have Hepatitis C. It is not well understood why baby boomers have high rates of Hepatitis C. It is possible that some could have been infected from contaminated blood or receiving tattoos or getting ear piercings before safety measures were employed.

Due to the high incidence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends those born between 1945 and 1965 get tested for the disease. The only way to know if someone has Hepatitis C is to get screened through a simple one-time blood test.

According to WebMD the possible Hepatitis C symptoms include;

  • Jaundice (a condition that causes yellow eyes and skin, as well as dark urine)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

The problem is most baby boomers are not aware that they are at higher risk. So, they are not tested and may be oblivious that they have the infection. Not only is this problem for those infected but for those around them as well.

There are new and effective treatments, which can eliminate the virus. Thus, prevent the liver damage and liver disease.

Antiviral medications can cure roughly 90 out of a hundred of Hepatitis C infections. However, the major problem is diagnosis.

Diagnosis can be problematic as the infected can live for years without showing symptoms.

This is why talking to a doctor and getting screened is so vital. Early diagnosis leads to early treatment and the prevention of health problems that Hepatitis C can present over time.

The unfortunate delay in diagnosis and treatment has been a contributing factor at least half of the cases of liver cancer in the United States. The incidence of liver cancer increased by 72 percent from 2003 to 2012.

A leading provider of Hepatitis C testing, Quest Diagnostics, launched an informative video for baby boomers to raise awareness and create a better understanding of the importance of Hepatitis C screenings.

The CDC continues to urge those born between 1945 and 1965 to speak with their doctors about getting screened.

One simple blood test can make a enormous difference in someone’s life.


Learn more about baby boomers and Hepatitis C at www.KnowAboutHepC.com and www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis/.

Take care and be well.
Tommy Douglas



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