Mayo Clinic Q&A: Anyone in high-risk age range for hepatitis C should be tested

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I'm a 62-year-old man with no health problems. At my last checkup, my doctor recommended that I be tested for hepatitis C, even though I don't have any symptoms. Is this really necessary?

ANSWER: It is important for people in your age group to be tested for hepatitis C. Studies have shown that Americans born between 1945 and 1965 are five times more likely than other individuals to be infected with the virus. Most people who have hepatitis C do not show symptoms, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that anyone who falls in the high-risk age range get tested.

Hepatitis C is caused by a virus that attacks the liver. Its effects...