Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Hepatitis Health Center

Font Size

CDC: All Baby Boomers Should Get Tested for Hepatitis C

New Move Could Identify More Than 800,000 People With Hepatitis C
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Aug. 16, 2012 -- Effective immediately, all U.S. baby boomers should get a one-time blood test for the hepatitis C virus, the CDC says.

One in 30 baby boomers born between 1945 through 1965 has been infected with hepatitis C, and most have no clue. Hepatitis C can go undetected without symptoms, but slowly causes serious liver diseases, including liver cancer. It is also the leading cause of liver transplants in the U.S.

"Three-quarters of all hepatitis C infections and three-quarters of hepatitis C deaths occur in baby boomers," CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, said today during a conference call with reporters. "Baby boomers are five times more likely to have Hepatitis C than other adult Americans."

The new recommendations strengthen existing guidelines that state that all people at high risk for hepatitis C should be tested. "While we continue to recommend testing for high-risk individuals, baby boomers are now added to the list," Frieden says. This move could help identify 800,000 more Americans with hepatitis C.

New Therapies Can Cure Hepatitis C

"The sooner you know, the more you can protect your liver and your life," Frieden says.

If the test is positive, people can lower their risk of liver cancer and cirrhosis by:

  • Avoiding certain medications that affect the liver
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Getting vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B

New therapies can cure up to 75% of infections. Frieden says the expanded testing, along with appropriate care and treatment, could save more than 120,000 lives.

Frieden, a baby boomer himself, plans to get tested at his next well visit.

Today on WebMD

Hepatitus C virus
Types, symptoms and treatments.
liver illustration
Myths and facts about this essential organ.
woman eating apple
What you need to know.
doctor and patient
What causes it?
Hepatitis C Treatment
Syringes and graph illustration
liver illustration
passport, pills and vaccine
Scientist looking in microscope
Fatty Liver Disease
Digestive Diseases Liver Transplantation
Picture Of The Liver
Image Collection