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Hepatitis C Screening Increasing Among Baby Boomers

Screening prevalence 11.5 to 12.8 percent; similar rate for cohort born from 1966 to 1985

TUESDAY, March 27, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For baby boomers, born between 1945 and 1965, the odds of hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening increase over time, although the rates of screening are low, according to a study published online March 27 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Monica L. Kasting, Ph.D., from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., and colleagues assessed HCV screening rates and predictors for four birth cohorts: born before 1945, born from 1945 to 1965 (baby boomers), born between 1966 and 1985, and born after 1985. The authors used data from the 2013 to 2015 National Health Interview Surveys. In the final analytical sample, there were 15,100 participants born before 1945, 28,725 baby boomers, 28,089 born from 1966 to 1985, and 13,296 born after 1985.

The researchers found that for baby boomers, the screening rate was 11.5 to 12.8 percent. The second youngest birth cohort had a similar prevalence of screening (13.7 to 14.9), while the older birth cohort had less screening. The odds of HCV screening increased significantly with each subsequent year in the final model for baby boomers (odds ratios, 1.2 and 1.31) after participants who typically have higher rates of HCV screening than the general population were excluded. In baby boomers there was a significant association for HCV screening with age, gender, and race/ethnicity.

“While HCV screening is increasing over time, these increases are minimal and there is substantial room for improvement,” the authors write.

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