Hepatitis C Test Recommended for All Boomers

The influential U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommended all baby boomers undergo a one-time test for hepatitis C, the leading cause of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

“Hepatitis C virus is the most common chronic bloodborne pathogen in the United States and a leading cause of complications from chronic liver disease,” the Task Force recommendation noted.

According to a recent New York Times article, three-quarters of more than 3 million Americans with hepatitis C are baby boomers and most don’t know they are infected.

Because many people with the infection show no symptoms, they often go decades at the risk of damaging their livers before discovery.

Fenkel, Jonathan 200x200“Hepatitis C is a leading cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer, conditions that may require liver transplantation,” notes Jefferson hepatologist Jonathan M. Fenkel, MD, director of the Jefferson Hepatitis C Center. “Early detection and treatment can prevent these serious diseases. If detected later in the disease course, Jefferson has experienced hepatologists to manage the diseases and the longest continually active liver transplant program in the Delaware Valley.”

The Task Force recommendations are timely, Dr. Fenkel says.

“This is a curable infection with medication,” he explains. “Several medications are currently available. Plus newer, safer and more effective medications are coming to the market very soon.”

Testing individuals at high risk and the one-time screening of baby boomers is being recommended by the Task Force, which is in agreement with a May 2012 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation.

“Those at highest risk for the infection include users of injected drugs and recipients of blood transfusions before 1992, when screening of donated blood for the virus began,” the Times article notes.

The Jefferson Hepatitis C Center

The hepatologists, pathologists, radiologists and other specialists at the Jefferson Hepatitis C Center provide a coordinated approach to the management of your hepatitis C.

Our Hepatitis C Center features:

  • A tailored program to meet patient needs
  • Expert consultations for referring physicians and patients including a detailed plan highlighting potential drug interactions and treatment considerations
  • An active clinical trials program
  • A twice-weekly outpatient hepatitis C treatment clinic

The Center is currently accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment with a Jefferson physician, call 1-800-JEFF-NOW or request an appointment online.

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  1. Jefferson Hepatologist on Two New Hepatitis C Medications | @Jeff - Keep In Touch with Jefferson University Hospitals | Serving Philadelphia, PA, NJ & the Delaware Valley - December 18, 2013

    […] a good thing as new screening recommendations are likely to identify people with hepatitis C who need […]

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