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Need for expansion of hepatitis C screening among veterans, 'baby-boom' generation and pregnant women highlighted
Keith Alcorn, 2013-11-04 15:30:00

Two large studies of the 'baby-boom' generation in the United States suggest that at least 50,000 US military veterans have undiagnosed hepatitis C, and that around 80% of people with hepatitis C born between 1945 and 1965 and receiving care through four large primary health care systems could be undiagnosed. The research was presented at the 64th meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (the Liver Meeting) in Washington DC on Sunday.

Research presented at the conference also showed that screening of pregnant women for hepatitis C on the basis of self-disclosed risk factors would have missed almost three-quarters of hepatitis C infections in pregnant women in the United States between 2003 and 2010.

A US recommendation to screen all adults in the baby-boom generation (born between 1945 and 1965) was issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012. Implementation is uneven and will depend in part on initiatives like the recent New York state law requiring all health facilities to screen adults in this birth cohort from January 2014, as well as on funding.

Several studies presented at the conference looked at the potential yield of more comprehensive age-based screening in various settings.