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

As baby boomers head into retirement some of then are carrying a silent disease. Nowadays, Hepatitis C is being diagnosed more in that generation and gastroenterologist, Dr. Patrick McDonough and other doctors at SSM Health DePaul Hospital are seeing more cases everyday.

Experts say the biggest cause for cases in this generation is that blood supplies weren't tested for Hep-C until after 1992, leaving many with the disease in their system. Especially those who received blood transfusions before testing. And while people can live for decades without knowing they're infected, liver disease and cancer are symptoms eventually that start to surface.

But there is good news. Testing is now widely available, as is a new treatment that is effective and has fewer side effects than previous treatments. More medications are available with less side effects and cure rates that were once 40% have more than doubled over the years.

Dr. Patrick McDonough 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.