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<p>(BPT) - Did you know that Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer and the number one reason for liver transplants in America? Between 1999 and 2007, more people died from Hepatitis C related complications than HIV. Despite this, many people live with the Hepatitis C virus for years, without experiencing any symptoms, while it silently causes liver damage. At particular risk is the growing population of baby boomers &ndash; adults born between 1945 and 1965. Baby boomers account for over 75 percent of Hepatitis C cases and are five times more likely to be infected than those in other age groups.</p><p>As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all baby boomers get tested for Hepatitis C, regardless of whether they think they are at risk.</p><p>Dr. Donald M. Jensen, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Liver Diseases at the University of Chicago Medical Center, explains, &ldquo;Most boomers may have been infected in the 1970s and 1980s when Hepatitis C virus rates were the highest. Since chronic Hepatitis C can go unnoticed for decades, many baby boomers may not even know they are infected. Universal screening of blood wasn&rsquo;t in place until 1992, so many boomers may have been infected from receiving contaminated blood products without being aware. I encourage all baby boomers to speak to their doctor about getting tested.&rdquo;</p><p>As baby boomers with Hepatitis C age, it becomes more likely that they will suffer serious complications. Since many baby boomers don&rsquo;t realize they are at risk and aren&rsquo;t getting tested, the number of Hepatitis C related deaths is increasing. However, once those infected are diagnosed through a blood test, they can speak to their doctor and take the necessary steps to manage their condition. It&rsquo;s important that those who have Hepatitis C realize that they shouldn&rsquo;t feel ashamed.</p><p>Dr. Jensen and the CDC would like to see all boomers get tested for Hepatitis C and if positive, seek follow-up care. Speak to your doctor or visit <a href="http://www.cdc.gov" rel="nofollow">www.cdc.gov</a> for more information about Hepatitis C.</p>

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