SSM Health Medical Minute: Baby Boomers being diagnosed with Hepatitis C

As baby boomers head into retirement, some of them are carrying a silent disease.

Hepatitis C is becoming more common. This is due, primarily, to the fact the blood supply was not tested for Hep C prior to 1992, impacting those who may have received blood transfusions prior to that time. Many people with chronic Hepatitis C do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. People with chronic Hepatitis C can live for decades without symptoms or feeling sick.

When symptoms do appear, they often are a sign of advanced liver disease. Testing is now widely available, as is a new treatment that is effective and has fewer side effects than previous treatments.

Dr. Patrick McDonough, gastroenterologist at SSM Health DePaul Hospital, says treatment options are much better tolerated now than previous options, and offer minimal side effects and, treatments can cure 97 of people in most cases.

To find out more about liver disease, click here.