Task Force Recommends Hep B Screening for High-Risk People

Doctors should regularly screen people at high risk for contracting the hepatitis B virus, which causes chronic illness and can lead to liver cancer if left untreated, according to a recent recommendation from the U.S. Preventative Task Force.

Dr. Mark Ebell, associate professor of epidemology and biostatistics and member of the task force, commented on MedicineNet.com about the new recommendation recently published in the May 26 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“The evidence was pretty clear that there’s a significant benefit for people who are at high risk,” Ebell said.

Hepatitis B is becoming less common in the United States due to the success of vaccination programs started in the 1990s, Ebell said.

But there are still as many as 2.2 million people in the United States who are chronically infected with hepatitis B. The task force hopes that screening programs will help get these folks the treatment they need.

Read the entire article at MedicineNet.com.

Posted May 16, 2014.