CDC Says Baby Boomers Should Be Tested For Hepatitis C

 NBC Nightly News (5/18) reported, “The CDC wants all Boomers to be tested for a dangerous viral infection many don’t know they have: Hepatitis C.”
        The AP (5/19, Stobbe) reported, “CDC officials believe the new measure could lead 800,000 more baby boomers to get treatment and could save more than 120,000 lives.” According to John W. Ward, head of the CDC’s division of viral hepatitis, “The CDC views hepatitis C as an unrecognized health crisis for the country, and we believe the time is now for a bold response.”
        The Washington Post (5/19, Brown) reported, “The CDC’s strategy calls for a one-time voluntary blood test for everyone born from 1945 to 1965. The test would be done by doctors, clinics and hospitals as part of routine medical care.” The Post quoted Ward as saying, “Many baby boomers may not even remember the behaviors that put them at risk.”
        The Wall Street Journal (5/19, Martin) “Health Blog” reported that data from an online survey by the American Gastroenterological Association indicates that approximately 75% of individuals in this age group have not been tested for hepatitis C, or at least don’t remember if they ever have.
        Bloomberg News (5/18, Lopatto, Flinn) reported, “Liver cancer is the fastest-growing cause of cancer death in the US and hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer, Ward said. A blood test is the only way to identify hepatitis C infections, according to the CDC.” Ward pointed out that “most cancer deaths are going down and this is one of the few that continues to escalate.”
        On its front page, the San Francisco Chronicle (5/19, A1, Colliver) reported, “San Francisco is home to about 12,000 people with chronic hepatitis C, and according to the CDC, liver cancer from hepatitis B and C kills more people in the Bay Area than anywhere else in the country.”Also covering the story were the Deseret (UT) Morning News (5/19, Collins), Medscape (5/19, Hitt), HealthDay (5/19, Reinberg), the Austin (TX) American-Statesman (5/19, Roser) “Salud!” blog, the NPR (5/19, Hensley) “Shots” blog, Reuters (5/19, Beasley), WebMD (5/19, Warner), and MedPage Today (5/19, Gever).

Women With Psoriasis May Have Increased Risk For Crohn’s Disease

MedPage Today (5/16, Bankhead) reports, “Women with psoriasis had a four-fold increase in the risk of Crohn’s disease, according to data from two large cohort studies” presented at the Society for Investigative Dermatology meeting. “The Crohn’s risk held up in separate analyses of the two studies and in a combined analysis of data from both cohorts,” whereas “psoriasis did not increase the risk of ulcerative colitis in either of the individual cohorts or in the combined analysis.”

Study: 42% Of Americans Will Be Obese By 2030

A new report on US obesity projections received heavy coverage, with network news broadcasts devoting nearly four minutes to the study. Most sources emphasized the costs and health burden associated with an increasingly obese population, but many also pointed to the fact that obesity rates have stabilized in recent years.
        NBC Nightly News (5/7, story 7, 2:50, Williams) reported, “For everyone American who worries about their weight or the weight of their children, there is a stunning prediction tonight. Health experts warn that by the year 2030, a staggering 42% of Americans will officially be obese.”
        The CBS Evening News (5/7, story 7, 0:35, Pelley) reported that currently, “nearly 36% of adults in this country…are obese.”
        ABC World News (5/7, story 6, 0:30, Sawyer) reported, “In addition to the physical consequences, the CDC estimates obesity will increase health care costs another $555 billion.”
        USA Today (5/8, Hellmich) reports, “The analysis was presented at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ‘Weight of the Nation'” conference. The research (pdf) “is being published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.”
        The Washington Post (5/8, Brown) reports, “Cynthia L. Ogden, an epidemiologist at the CDC, told the conference that, in general, obesity rates changed little in the 1960s and 1970s, rose steeply in the 1980s and 1990s, and have been leveling off in the past decade.”
        The Los Angeles Times (5/8, Healy) reports, “The sobering projections also contained some good news, the researchers said: Obesity’s growth has slowed from the record pace of most of the last 30 years. If those trends were to continue, 51% of American adults would qualify as obese in 2030.”
        Bloomberg BusinessWeek (5/8, Lopatto) reports, “The findings predict that the number of people who are severely obese, or about 100 pounds overweight, will double to 11 percent.”
        The AP (5/8) reports, “That could be an ominous consequence of childhood obesity. Half of severely obese adults were obese as children, and they put on more pounds as they grew up, said” CDC obesity specialist Dr. William Dietz.
        The NPR (5/8, Graham) “Shots” blog reports that in a statement, Dietz said, “We know more than ever about the most successful strategies that will help Americans live healthier, more active lives and reduce obesity rates and medical costs.”
        The CBS News (5/8) “HealthPop” blog quotes Dietz’s statement as saying, “In the coming days at our Weight of the Nation conference, CDC and its partners will emphasize the proven, effective strategies and solutions that must continue to be applied to help make the healthy choice the easy choice.” The blog adds, “The obesity epidemic has led to a rise in obesity-related chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and several types of cancer.” Research published “earlier this year in…the journal Cancer found rates for cancers of the esophagus, uterus, pancreas and kidney were on the rise, with obesity being a likely factor.”