Posted January 19, 2013 by Jeremy Smith in Senior Living

Veterans twice as likely to be infected with chronic hepatitis C

An estimated three.2 million Americans have chronic hepatitis C, a potentially severe disease that, if left untreated, can damage the liver more than time and lead to cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, finish-stage liver illness and liver cancer. Liver failure from chronic hepatitis C is the leading result in of liver transplants in the United States.

Numerous people infected with chronic hep C virus do not know they have it. Roughly 70 to 80 percent of these newly infected with the virus do not have symptoms. In many people with chronic hepatitis C, indicators or symptoms may possibly not appear for years.

Amongst those disproportionately affected by chronic hep C is the veteran community, a population twice as likely to be infected with chronic hep C as the general population. Veterans might be at increased danger due to the fact they may have added threat elements, such as obtaining had blood exposure throughout combat, or immunization by air gun injection. Of the six million veterans receiving care from the Veterans Affairs&rsquo (VA) wellness care method in 2010, 165,005 had evidence of chronic hep C. Most veterans with the disease becoming treated in the VA well being care program in recent years were most likely infected in the course of the Vietnam War era any time from 1964 to 1975.

Veterans in VA care with chronic hepatitis C have greater prices of associated conditions that could complicate their wellness. Several veterans with chronic hep C already have evidence of cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, and even much more of these infected will create cirrhosis more than a span of 20 to 30 years. Because critical complications, like liver illness, typically happen years right after initial infection, an enhance in hep C-related deaths in veterans is expected more than the subsequent decade.

A lot of veterans also fall within the &ldquobaby boomer&rdquo generation, or these born among 1945 and 1965, another group disproportionately affected by the illness. It is estimated that 1 in 30 baby boomers has been infected with hepatitis C and they are 5 occasions far more likely to be infected than other adults. A lot more than two million U.S. infant boomers are infected with hepatitis C. In fact, the Centers for Disease Manage and Prevention recently issued suggestions that all U.S. baby boomers need to get a a single-time test for the hepatitis C virus.

In an effort to raise awareness about chronic hepatitis C, Merck has joined forces with the American Liver Foundation and Grammy(R) Award-winning musicians Gregg Allman, Natalie Cole and Jon Secada on the Tune In to Hep C campaign. Tune In to Hep C is a national public well being campaign made to educate folks about chronic hepatitis C and the significance of taking action. Their personal private experiences with the illness have inspired them to share their stories, educate patients about the disease and encourage others to take the next step. Allman was diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C in 1999, Cole was diagnosed in 2008, and Secada lost his father to complications related with the disease in 2011. Together, they hope to motivate other folks to tell their friends and household about their diagnosis and to talk to their health care provider about their options.

For much more details on chronic hepatitis, please pay a visit to www.TuneInToHepC.com.

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Jeremy Smith