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Avatar universal

New CDC recommendation

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/t/story/cdc-baby-boomers-tested-hepatitis-16377879

Interesting.....

9 Responses
1815939 tn?1377991799
I think it is great that the CDC is finally recommending testing for ALL Baby Boomers. It is about time.

However, the article at the link above states:
"The hepatitis C virus is most commonly spread today through sharing needles to inject drugs. Before widespread screening of blood donations began in 1992, it was also spread through blood transfusions."

Every other news announcement about the CDC's recommendation said the same thing. In my opinion, this only continues the misinformation  and assumptions concerning Hepatitis C, reinforces the stigma associated with Hep C, and may deter some people from being tested (either because they never used drugs of because they never had transfusions, or because they fear being stigmatized by being associtated with the two widely known causes).

In my opinion, the CDC should have listed all possible ctransmission routes/exposure in its statement and they should have said a large percentage have no idea where they got it.

It is a long overdue start to get all Baby Boomers tested, but I really am disappointed that they continue to feed the stigma of Hep C by keeping misinformation concerning transmission alive.
446474 tn?1446347682
Pooh,

"The vast majority (more than 75 percent) of American adults with hepatitis C are baby boomers"

I think that most of the issue(s) you mention are with the media's interpretation of the CDC announcement. The original CDC source announcement is much more neutral and broad in explaining why they are recommending testing for all baby boomers (Anyone born from 1945 through 1965). They also mention the previous HCV testing recommendations for those who should be tested because of certain risk factors. (See "Who Should Be Tested For Hepatitis C?" below).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/HCV-TestingFactSheetNoEmbargo508.pdf

This life-threatening infection affects an estimated 3.2 million Americans, most of whom are “baby boomers” (those born from 1945 through 1965). And while newly available treatments can cure the majority of hepatitis C cases, most people do not seek care because they do not know they are infected.

Baby boomers are five times more likely than other American adults to be infected with the disease. In fact, more than 75 percent of American adults with hepatitis C are baby boomers. Many baby boomers were infected with hepatitis C when they were in their teens and twenties. Some may have become infected through blood transfusions or other health care exposures
before universal precautions and widespread blood screening began in 1992. Others may have become infected from experimentation with drug use, even if only once decades ago. Because these exposures were often long ago, many baby boomers may not recall — or may be unwilling to discuss — the events that could have placed them at risk. As a result, many have never been tested for hepatitis C.

A blood test is the only way to identify these silent infections.
CDC currently recommends testing for those who have a
known risk for hepatitis C (see box, this page). While this is
still important, too many infections are being missed — since
individuals, and even doctors, may be uncomfortable discussing
behaviors related to hepatitis C risk. In addition, standard,
routine tests of liver function miss more than half of all cases of
hepatitis C infection.
As a result, CDC is proposing an expansion of its current
risk-based guidelines to include a simple, one-time blood test
for all baby boomers. For those who test positive, the new draft
recommendations call for referral to care and treatment and a brief
screening for alcohol use, which can accelerate progression of liver
disease in those with hepatitis C.

Who Should Be Tested For Hepatitis C?

Proposed new recommendation:
* Anyone born from 1945 through 1965

Existing, risk-based guidelines:
* Anyone who has ever injected illegal drugs
* Recipients of blood transfusions or solid organ transplants before July 1992, or clotting factor concentrates made before 1987
* Patients who have ever received long-term hemodialysis treatment
* Persons with known exposures to hepatitis C, such as:
* Health care workers after needlesticks involving blood from a patient with hepatitis C
* Recipients of blood or organs from a donor who later tested positive for hepatitis C
*  People living with HIV
* People with signs or symptoms of liver disease (e.g., abnormal liver enzyme tests)
* Children born to mothers who have hepatitis C


Why Expand Hepatitis C Testing?

CDC is proposing expanded testing guidelines at this time for several reasons:

* The vast majority (more than 75 percent) of American adults with hepatitis C are baby boomers. Testing people in this age group will help identify many undiagnosed cases.

* Deaths from hepatitis C are on the rise. As baby boomers age, the likelihood that they will develop serious, life-threatening
complications from the disease will continue to increase  — unless those infections are diagnosed and treated.

* New treatments can cure up to 75 percent of hepatitis C cases. Identifying silent cases of hepatitis infection has the potential to save more lives than ever before, and the research pipeline indicates that even more effective therapies may be available in the future.

* New treatments can cure up to 75 percent of hepatitis C cases. Identifying silent cases of hepatitis infection has the potential to save more lives than ever before, and the research pipeline indicates that even more effective therapies may be available in the future.


* Testing saves lives. CDC estimates that implementing the proposed
new testing recommendations could identify 800,000 additional hepatitis C
virus infections; providing these patients with appropriate care and
treatment could prevent more than 120,000 deaths.

* Testing is cost-effective. One-time hepatitis C screening for baby
boomers, with treatment for those found to be infected, is comparable
in cost-effectiveness to other routine preventive health services, such
as screening for cervical cancer or cholesterol screening and treatment.


Developing the Recommendations

The draft expanded recommendations were developed by a working group including experts from CDC and other federal agencies, professional associations, community and advocacy groups, and local and state health departments. They will be available at
www.regulations.gov, docket number CDC-2012-0005, for a public comment period starting May 22. Following the public comment period, CDC will review and
consider all input received, and issue final recommendations later in the year.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cheers!

Hector
1815939 tn?1377991799
You are correct. It is the media's interpretation or misrepresentation of the facts in the CDC announcemnet.

I still think that the news media's misrepresentation of the facts reinforces the stigma associated with Hep C, and may deter some people from being tested (either because they never used drugs of because they never had transfusions, or because they fear being stigmatized by being associtated with the two widely known causes).

Still, it is a start and, if more Baby Boomers get tested due to this recommendation, many lives will be saved.
446474 tn?1446347682
Important facts about hepatitis C from the CDC.

* One in 30 baby boomers – the generation born from 1945 through 1965 – has been infected with hepatitis C, and most don’t know it. Hepatitis C causes serious liver diseases including liver cancer, which is the fastest-rising cause of cancer-related deaths, and the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States.

* More than 2 million U.S. baby boomers are infected with hepatitis C, accounting for more than 75 percent of all American adults living with the virus. Baby boomers are five times more likely to be infected than other adults.

* More than 15,000 Americans, most of them 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 and are projected to grow significantly in coming years.

* CDC estimates one-time hepatitis C testing of baby boomers could identify more than 800,000 additional people with hepatitis C, prevent the costly consequences of liver cancer and other chronic liver diseases and save more than 120,000 lives.

* Funded efforts will focus on groups that are disproportionately affected by the disease, including Asian-American Pacific Islander communities who have the highest rates of hepatitis B, and injection drug users and individuals born from 1945 – 1965 who are most affected by hepatitis C. These efforts align with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis, which was released in May 2011.

* Adding additional tools and resources to the CDC Know More Hepatitis website, including a new online Hepatitis Risk Assessment tool. This tool is designed to help people determine their risk for viral hepatitis.
http://www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis/

Hector
2059648 tn?1439766665
You seem to be really on top of this stuff. I find it interesting
that theres not reference to testing people who have tats and
body piercing.    What do you think?   I've had a blood transfusion
that resulted in a very bad reaction (before 1992) and I was hospitalized. Its
well documented. AND I had to personally asked to be tested.  The doctor wasn't real big on getting me tested.  WHY! because I don't look like a
drug addict or hippy.  Within two months after that test I started treatment.



Avatar universal
Just to shed a little more light on what is going on.....It appears that the CDC recommendations weren't released as soon as they had them because of concerns about the cost of testing and treating so many baby boomers. The latest obstacle may be that HHS wants to wait for the findings from United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). They want to avoid the same type of debacle there was over the mammogram issue they had in 2010 where the CDC and USPSTF disagreed.
766573 tn?1365166466
True, the 2004 report:
http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/3rduspstf/hepcscr/hepcirec.htm
_______________________________-

The 2011 Report reiterates what was said in the 2004 report (scroll down to page 11):


http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/annlrpt/tfannrpt2011.pdf

Here is the text:

Fortunately most people who have the infection do not develop liver problems. In 2004, the USPSTF found that although there are good screening tests that accurately identify individuals who are infected with the hepatitis C virus, there was not enough evidence about whether treating asymptomatic individuals found to have the infection through screening programs resulted in more long-term benefits and fewer harms when compared with treating people when they become symptomatic

The Task Force concluded that more research is needed to better understand the progression of the disease and which individuals are at highest risk of suffering from liver damage. Studies are also needed to better understand if early treatment of hepatitis C infection leads to improved outcomes and which individuals will benefit the most from early treatment, and to evaluate the effect of diagnosis and treatment on quality of life.
_________________________

In addition to these agencies not coming together about these things is many insurance carriers who do not see the medically necessity of including HCV in routine testing (even if it is a one time thing) in someone without elevated liver enzymes or is not in what is considered a high-risk situation.  

In that case it is really up to the patient to encourage and reason with the doctor, as in Cheppie's post for example. She presented a valid reason to test for HCV.

446474 tn?1446347682
"I find it interesting that theres not reference to testing people who have tats and body piercing. What do you think? "

From the CDC:

Can you get Hepatitis C by getting a tattoo or piercing?

A few major research studies have not shown Hepatitis C to be spread through licensed, commercial tattooing facilities. However, transmission of Hepatitis C (and other infectious diseases) is possible when poor infection-control practices are used during tattooing or piercing. Body art is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, and unregulated tattooing and piercing are known to occur in prisons and other informal or unregulated settings. Further research is needed to determine if these types of settings and exposures are responsible for Hepatitis C virus transmission.  

Cheers!
Hector

766573 tn?1365166466
http://www.liverfoundation.org/about/advocacy/hcvscreening/
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