Most Baby Boomers Still Not Receiving Recommended Hepatitis C Testing Interview with:

Stacey Fedewa, MPH Strategic Director, Screening and Risk Factor Surveillance Surveillance and Health Services Research program American Cancer Society

Dr. Fedewa

Stacey Fedewa, Ph.D.
Strategic Director, Risk Factors & Screening Surveillance
American Cancer Society
Atlanta GA 30303-1002 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: About 3.5 million people in the US are chronically infected with Hepatitis C, the majority are unaware of their infection despite the availability of treatments that may reduce the risk of HCV-related diseases such as liver cancer. About 80% of those with the infection are baby-boomers (people born between 1945-1965). To help reduce growing burden of these HCV-associated diseases, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended one-time HCV testing for baby-boomers in 2013.

We examined nationwide data between 2013-2015 to see if HCV testing in baby-boomers has increased since the USPSTF recommendation.  We found that only about 14% of baby-boomers had ever been tested in 2015, which represented a very small increase from 2013 where testing prevalence was about 12%. In 2015, we estimated that there were about 76.2 million baby boomers and only 10.5 reported ever receiving HCV testing. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: HCV testing among baby-boomers is not very common. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Continued surveillance of HCV testing is important to see if HCV testing prevalence remains stable or increases. Additionally, research on how best to implement HCV testing is needed. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: I’ve been asked by other reporters why the American Cancer Society cares about HCV testing. One reason is that the incidence of a lot of cancers has decreased in recent years, but incidence and death rates for some cancers is increasing-liver cancer is one of them. According to the 2017 ACS Facts and Figures, liver cancer incidence has increased by 4% per year between 2004 and 2013 and death rates have increased by 3% per year since 2000. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Recent Hepatitis C Virus Testing Patterns Among Baby Boomers

Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD, Stacey A. Fedewa, PhD

Surveillance and Health Services Research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia


Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on March 14, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD