HealthDay News — According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, too few American baby boomers are tested for hepatitis C virus, despite recommendations.

In 2013, the US 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% in 2013 to 13.8% 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.

Reference

Jemal A and Fedewa SA. “Recent Hepatitis C Virus Testing Patterns Among Baby Boomers”. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.01.033 [Epub ahead of print]

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