Vim & Vigor - Summer 2013 - Gwinnett Medical Center - (Page 49)

PrimeTime HealtH Calling All Baby Boomers 5 things seniors need to know about their hepatitis C risk T he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called for all baby boomers, Americans born from 1945 to 1965, to be tested for the hepatitis C virus. Why? More than 75 percent of all Americans living with the virus are of this generation—and studies show few are aware they are infected or at risk for infection. People who have hepatitis C often have no symptoms and can live for decades without feeling sick. Here’s what you need to know about hepatitis C: 1 The virus is spread through exposure to infected blood. The most common means of infection is through sharing of needles or other equipment used to inject drugs. 2 CALL Most baby boomers were likely infected with hepatitis C when they were in their teens or 20s. Some may have been infected when they experimented with injection drugs, even just once. Others may have been exposed to the virus through blood transfusions before modern blood-screening procedures came into effect in 1992. 3 Once inside the body, the virus causes progressive damage to the liver and can go undetected for many years without symptoms. 4 A one-time testing of all baby boomers for the hepatitis C virus could identify more than 800,000 people infected with the virus, allowing for early treatment to prevent liver disease, potentially saving more than 120,000 lives. 5 For many people who have hepatitis C, medical treatment can result in the virus no longer being detected in the blood. National Hepatitis Testing Day is May 19. So now is a great time. Ask your doctor to test your blood for hepatitis C. Don’t Have a Primary Care Physician? Find One Today photo by thinkstock Call 678-312-5000 for a FREE referral to an expert in your area. A primary care physician can check your blood and give you a routine physical. Summ ER 2013 49

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Summer 2013 - Gwinnett Medical Center

Vim & Vigor - Summer 2013 - Gwinnett Medical Center
Phil’s Feature
ACL Double Take
Saving the Littlest Lives
The Ultimate Backto- School Checklist
Join the Movement
Stroke Stories
5 Steps to Better Bone Health
Gut Instinct
Morgan Freeman
Prostate Playbook
The Main Ingredient
Looking Ahead
Virtual Health
PrimeTime Health
Delivered from Devastation
A Big Reason to Smile
Out of the White Coat
Transforming Healthcare

Vim & Vigor - Summer 2013 - Gwinnett Medical Center