The dynamic - but often overly risk-taking - young adult lifestyles of the Baby Boomers are starting to catch up to the newest generation of retirees, in a daunting way: three out of four of the 3.2 million Americans with Hepatitis C are Boomers.
A recent Los Angeles Times article suggests that the long-term health issues related to the disease - deaths from the virus have nearly doubled in a decade, to more than 15,000 - present a considerable challenge for public health officials.
Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer and cirrohsis and is one of the most frequent reasons for liver transplants in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control; in 2007, more Americans died from Hepatitis C than from HIV-related causes, with the issue expected to accellerate as Boomer carriers age.
"We have sort of a perfect storm of an age wave of people who are moving through time who are progressively becoming sicker from an infection that was aquired several decades ago," John Ward, director of the CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis, told the Times. "We think we are at a very critical juncture."
Read the full story here.