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Rates of Hepatitis C Testing Too Low in Baby Boomers

Rates of Hepatitis C Testing Too Low in Baby Boomers
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WEDNESDAY, March 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Despite recommendations, too few American baby boomers are tested for hepatitis C virus, according to a study published online March 8 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

In 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advised all Americans born between 1945 and 1965 to get a one-time test for hepatitis C virus. For the study, investigators analyzed data from 23,967 baby boomers who took part in a government health survey.

The researchers found that hepatitis C testing rates increased from 12.3 percent in 2013 to 13.8 percent in 2015. There were 76.2 million baby boomers in the United States in 2015, and only 10.5 million said they had been tested for hepatitis C. Insurance played a role in testing. Patients with Medicare plus Medicaid, Medicaid only, or military insurance had higher rates of hepatitis C virus testing than those with private insurance. Rates were also higher in men than women, and among college graduates.

“These findings underscore the need for increased awareness for hepatitis C virus testing among health care providers and baby boomers, and other innovative strategies such as state-mandated hepatitis C virus testing,” the authors write.

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