For reasons that are not completely understood, baby boomers demonstrate the highest rates of hepatitis C.
Beverly Hills, CA (PRWEB) January 16, 2013
According to the Center for Disease Control, individuals born between 1945 and 1965 should undergo a one-time test for the hepatitis C virus.
“For reasons that are not completely understood, baby boomers demonstrate the highest rates of hepatitis C,” said Dr. Ari Nowain, a board-certified gastroenterologist and internal medicine doctor at La Peer Health Systems in Beverly Hills. “The new CDC guidelines can help save thousands of lives by identifying those individuals who need treatment.”
A viral disease causing inflammation of the liver, hepatitis C often leads to liver damage, cirrhosis and even early death. Further, hepatitis C is the primary cause of liver cancer as well as the number one reason for liver transplants. However, the CDC estimates that eighty percent of people with hepatitis C demonstrate no symptoms. Even more frightening, many of these individuals are unaware that they suffer from the disease. The CDC believes it's crucial to identify hepatitis C sufferers so they can be monitored by physicians and treated before the condition progresses.
“One of the reasons hep C is so dangerous is that sufferers are often asymptomatic for years,” said Dr. Nowain, who possesses special training in the treatment of liver diseases. “While we now have a number of very effective therapies for hepatitis C, successful treatment requires identifying patients in the early stages of the virus.”
The CDC advises that those individuals born between 1945 and 1965 undergo an initial screening for hepatitis C with an FDA-approved antibody test. Those baby boomers who receive a positive initial result should then schedule an HCV-RNA test to determine whether the infection is active.
“There's a reason hep C is called 'the silent killer,'” said Dr. Nowain. “Hopefully, the new CDC guidelines will help ensure that baby boomers get the treatment they require before the disease progresses.”
Dr. Nowain also recommends that those individuals born outside the 1945 to 1965 window seek testing for hepatitis C if they demonstrate any of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine, vomiting, fever. People whose blood work indicates elevated liver enzymes should also be tested. Feel free to contact Dr. Nowain to schedule an appointment by calling 310.657.4444 or by visiting http://www.CenterGIHealth.com.