Community health centers screen less than 10% of baby boomer patients (and more men than women) for hepatitis C, a much lower percentage than recommended by national guidelines revised in 2013, according to a recently published study.
Guidelines from the US Preventative Services Task Force recommend that all patients born between 1945 and 1965 be tested for the liver damaging hepatitis C virus. Identifying and treating patients early improves outcomes and slows transmission of the disease, note authors of the study published in the January issue of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
"HCV screening can reduce health inequities due to undiagnosed, untreated infection," co-author Erica Turse, DO, MPH, of the University of Mississippi Medical Center said in a news release. "Diagnosing this disease is a public health imperative and, as an osteopathic physician, I know that swift intervention is the best shot these patients have to avoid cirrhosis, carcinoma and end-stage liver disease."
Labels: baby boomer, Testing