Most Baby Boomers Never Tested for Hepatitis C

press release

May 14, 2012, 9:00 a.m. EDT
Most Baby Boomers Never Tested for Hepatitis C, Despite Being Most at Risk
Survey of Baby Boomers Reveals Dangerous “It’s Not Me” Mentality About Hepatitis C -The American Gastroenterological Association Launches New Campaign to Address Threat

BETHESDA, Md., May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Almost three-quarters (74 percent) of baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965) have never been tested or are unsure if they have been tested for hepatitis C, and 80 percent do not consider themselves at any risk for having the disease, according to a new survey by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA). This lack of knowledge has significant implications — nearly 5 million Americans are infected with hepatitis C[1] of which 82 percent[2] are baby boomers, but three in four people infected don’t know they have it.[3] Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver failure, liver cancer or the need for a liver transplant in the U.S.[4]

In addition to a lack of knowledge, the survey showed a lack of action: 83 percent of the baby boomers surveyed have never discussed hepatitis C with their health-care provider, even though it is diagnosed with a simple blood test and for many people, can be cured.[5] Findings were released today by the AGA in advance of National Hepatitis Testing Day (May 19) to encourage baby boomers to talk to their health-care providers about getting tested–discussions that could potentially save lives. The survey of more than 1,000 baby boomers not previously diagnosed with hepatitis C was conducted online by Harris Interactive* on behalf of the AGA as part of a new educational campaign called I.D. Hep C.

“Many baby boomers have a potentially dangerous ‘it’s not me’ mentality about hepatitis C, and this survey underscores how poorly most people in that generation understand that risk factors do apply to them,” said Ira M. Jacobson, MD, AGAF, chief, division of gastroenterology and hepatology and professor of medicine, The Joan Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and physician co-advisor to AGA’s I.D. Hep C campaign. “Given the potentially deadly consequences of allowing hepatitis C to go undiagnosed, the AGA urges all baby boomers to talk to their doctors about getting tested.”

To help combat the looming hepatitis C public health issue and address this knowledge gap, the AGA has launched I.D. Hep C, a new campaign to educate people, especially baby boomers, about hepatitis C and encourage them to speak up and get tested. By visiting www.IDHepC.org , people can learn more about hepatitis C and testing and get information on where to get tested — including free or low-cost screening events in some regions in the days surrounding National Hepatitis Testing Day (May 19). At www.IDHepC.org , the AGA is also encouraging people to show their commitment to stopping this silent killer by taking a virtual pledge to get tested and spread the word.

Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease that is spread through infected blood.[6] Hepatitis C is responsible for about 15,000 deaths annually in the U.S., more than HIV.[7] Liver damage from hepatitis C gets worse over time, and because many boomers have been infected for decades, the number of people who die from hepatitis C-related liver problems is expected to increase by 207 percent from 2000 to 2030.[8]

Survey Findings

The survey also revealed baby boomers are largely unaware of other important facts about hepatitis C:

Eighty-three percent of baby boomers don’t realize their generation is most likely to have hepatitis C. Instead, half (52 percent) believe all age groups have a similar risk and nearly one quarter (24 percent) think those in Generation X (ages 31 to 46) are more likely to have the disease.

Fifty-five percent of baby boomers think every ethnic group has the same likelihood of having hepatitis C, even though African Americans and Hispanics are affected by hepatitis C at a significantly higher rate than the general population.[9],[10]

Fewer than one in five (18 percent) baby boomers know that for many people, hepatitis C can be cured.

“The disease can’t be treated if people don’t know they are infected. With treatment, the chance of a cure is greater than ever,” said Michael Ryan, MD, clinical professor of medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, practicing gastroenterologist with Digestive and Liver Disease Specialists of Norfolk, VA, and physician co-advisor to AGA’s I.D. Hep C campaign. “I see every day the devastation hepatitis C can cause, especially to those who have lived with the disease for years without knowing it. Baby boomers shouldn’t wait – they should talk to their doctors today about getting this simple test.”

About the Survey Methodology*

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of the AGA and Vertex from April 9-13, 2012, among 1,006 baby boomers (born between 1945 and 1965) not previously diagnosed with hepatitis C.

Additional survey findings are available at www.IDHepC.org .

About the Campaign

I.D. Hep C is a new campaign to educate people, especially baby boomers, about hepatitis C and encourage them to speak up and get tested to learn their status. By visiting www.IDHepC.org , people can take a virtual pledge to learn more and educate others about hepatitis C and testing and get information on where to get tested — including free or low-cost screening events in some regions in the days leading up to and following National Hepatitis Testing Day (May 19). At www.IDHepC.org , the AGA is also encouraging people to show their commitment to stopping this silent killer by taking a virtual pledge to get tested and spread the word. This campaign is funded by Vertex.

About Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus, which is spread through direct contact with the blood of infected people and ultimately affects the liver. Chronic hepatitis C can lead to serious and life-threatening liver problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer. Though many people with hepatitis C may not experience symptoms, others may have symptoms such as fatigue, fever, jaundice and abdominal pain. [6]

People who are at risk for hepatitis C include:

People born between born between 1945 and 1965.

People who had blood transfusions or organ transplants before 1992.

People with tattoos or body piercings.

People who used intravenous drugs, even once.

People who work in a healthcare setting.

People with HIV.[4]

Unlike HIV and hepatitis B virus, for many people, chronic hepatitis C can be cured.[5] More than 170 million people worldwide are chronically infected with hepatitis C.[11] In the U.S., up to 5 million people have chronic hepatitis C[1] and 75 percent of them are unaware of their infection.[3] Hepatitis C is five times more prevalent in the U.S. compared to HIV.[12] The majority of people with hepatitis C in the U.S. were born between 1945 and 1965, accounting for 82 percent of all people with the disease.[2] In the U.S., hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver transplantations[4] and is reported to contribute to 15,000 deaths annually.[7]

About the AGA Institute

The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the AGA has grown to include 17,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization. www.gastro.org .

Healthy Eating Habits: Keep Arthritis in Control

People who suffer from gout or arthritis are typically advised to make dietary changes to control their conditions. However, not many people know how to make these changes. Arthritis can be controlled by better overall eating habits. Arthritis requires that your diet should check the building up of toxins and acid waste in your body. After reading this article, you will know how to avoid this building of such toxins by incorporating certain foods on a daily basis with ease.

Keeping a Mediterranean Diet:

One of the most highly recommended eating habits for controlling arthritis as advised by doctors is the Mediterranean Diet. As its name suggests, the diet is comprised of food items that are popular in the Mediterranean. The diet consists of foods like olive oil, fish, vegetables, and whole grains. Protein rich chicken, shellfish, and dairy products are used in the diet.

How the Mediterranean Diet Works:

* Use olive oil for cooking over low heat as well as using it as a dressing over
salads.
* Eat shellfish and fish because seafood provides lean protein that
is good for people who have arthritis.
* With the Mediterranean diet, patients can consume lots of fruits
and vegetables.
* Consuming yogurt is good because it is full of active bacteria for better
digestion.
* While eating bread products, try to choose whole grain products.

Fruit Juices: People suffering from arthritis should drink lots of pure fruit juices. Also, doctors suggest fruit juices to help a speedy recovery. Pineapple juice is wonderful in fighting arthritis, as it contains a chemical called bromelain. You can also drink juices from melons, apples, apricots and banana.

Garlic: Garlic is another effective method that helps controlling arthritis. It is
An anti-inflammatory agent that can be used in
Your every day diet – either in a raw form, or in vitamin capsules. Garlic
contains great analgesic properties that curb arthritis.

Other Suggested Alternatives:

Apart from the aforementioned eating and drinking habits and foods, you can try the
following alternatives that are supposed to be helpful in controlling
arthritis:

* Potato Juice: Potato juice that is diluted with water in a 50:50 ratio can work to
control arthritis. However, drink it in small measures, if on an
empty stomach.
* Alkaline Foods: Many alkaline foods are also considered valuable when
controlling arthritis. Alfalfa seed tea is highly recommended for
arthritis patients.
* Vitamins A & D: Vitamin A and vitamin D contribute their own efficiency in controlling arthritis. They help cleanse your body of infection. Vitamin D is
easily obtained from sunlight and Vitamin A can be obtained by food, such as
carrots.

Now we hope that you learned how eating habits help maintain control over arthritis.
Healthy eating habits can help more than medicine to check your arthritis and go a long way in improving arthritis symptoms and its associated suffering.

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Healthy Eating Habits: For Healthy Skin

Avacado...

Image by Mr. Greenjeans via Flickr

In the world of advertising, there are millions of ads and product placements of beauty products. A major source for this occurrence is that we all want to look beautiful because it is associated with success, and thus we are ready and available to spend money on different products to achieve that. However, we forget that nothing is as effective as the nourishment that we can source from food that can give us healthy and flawless skin. Continuing to read this article can help you learn how to have better eating habits to gain better skin.

Drinking Right: An important fact that we typically forget to face is that drinking water helps rejuvenate your skin more than any eating habits do. Drinking large quantities of water keep skin elastic, soft and glowing. Most of our body is made of water; therefore, it is necessary to keep it hydrated by drinking water all throughout the day. Drinking a lot of water keeps skin fresh and avoids it appearing or feeling dry or dull.

 Vitamins: Including adequate amounts of vitamins in your diet will keep skin healthy and beautiful. Vitamins are the most essential nutrients that your body requires to keep skin looking good. This includes vitamins A, C, and E in your diet. Your skin will naturally glow without make up. Furthermore, vitamins help neutralize free radicals that damage skin regularly. Vitamin proficient foods include fruits, dry fruits, and green vegetables on a regular basis.

Processed Foods: To have the fresh and lively looking skin, avoiding certain foods is also necessary – like processed food. Today, fast-paced life makes people feel relaxed consuming readymade processed food. However, consuming such food is harmful for your body and especially skin. Such foods are high in sugar and artificial ingredients that are harmful to health. Natural and organic foods are better for glowing and great skin, compared to pre-packaged food, saturated in fats.

Consume Raw Foods: While avoiding processed foods, one must turn to consuming raw foods to stay full and healthy. You will not spend your hard earned money on make up products if raw foods are regularly consumed for great looking skin. When food is cooked, even steamed, we lose many of its valuable nutrients. Therefore raw foods retain all nutrients present in a vegetable or fruit. Raw food in the form of a salad, for example, keep the body system clean with lots of fiber and contribute to healthy looks.

Avocado: Trying to incorporate avocado in your diet can keep glowing and healthy skin. Avocado is a fruit rich in essential oils and b-complex vitamins that help pamper skin on the inside and out. The most prominent nutrients are vitamin b3 and niacin, both of which are good for healthy skin and smoothing blotchy areas of skin. Avocado can be incorporating in many recipes, such as with yogurt or berries to give you vibrant and youthful skin.
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