Baby Boomers Should be Screened for Hepatitis C

Released: 11/1/2013

A few weeks ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation requiring that primary care providers and hospitals offer hepatitis C screening to all baby boomers in New York State. Those individuals born between 1945 and 1965 – baby boomers – currently account for more than 70 percent of the nearly four million Americans living with hepatitis C who are at risk for developing advanced liver cancer. 

“The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently endorsed the CDC’s recommendation for this screening to be covered by the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” according to Andrew H. Talal, MD, a physician in the Liver Clinic, located in the Specialty Center of Buffalo General Medical Center and chief of the Gastroenterology-Hepatology Division at UBMD Internal Medicine. “Since an estimated 50 to 75 percent of people infected with hepatitis C are unaware that they are infected, this is a tremendously important step toward enabling us to engage these individuals in care for the infection.”

Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver disease, and deaths from hepatitis C-related liver disease now exceed deaths from HIV. However, the majority of people with chronic hepatitis C have never been screened or diagnosed. Hepatitis C is often curable, if diagnosed and treated.

To schedule a screening, please call the Buffalo General Specialty Center at 859-2175.