Some 60,000 adults in the UK have liver disease, yet almost 75 per cent of these don’t know they are affected, according to research published in The Lancet. For many, the first they know about it is an admission to A&E when the disease is often picked up at an advanced stage.

To coincide with Love Your Liver awareness week (18 to 24 June 2018), the British Liver Trust launched a new version of an online screening tool to help people find out if they are at risk.

Most cases of liver disease are preventable, with 90 per cent of cases due to alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis. Deaths from liver disease have soared by 400 per cent since the 1970s.

The Love Your Liver campaign focuses on three simple steps:

  • Drink within recommended limits and have three consecutive alcohol-free days every week
  • Cut down on sugar, carbohydrates and fat and take more exercise
  • Know the risk factors for viral helpatitis and get tested or vaccinated if at risk.

“Liver disease develops silently with no signs or symptoms and is the second leading cause of years or working life lost. If current trends continue it will become the leading cause of premature mortality in the UK. Yet most people with fatal advanced liver disease only become aware they have a liver problem when they are admitted as an emergency,” said professor Nick Sheron, a liver expert from the University of Southampton who is involved in the research.

 

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