Volume 9, Special Issue 1, Jul-Aug-Sep 2012
A new survey suggests why people in deprived communities have higher levels of alcohol-related ill health than people in non-deprived communities despite drinking the same amount of alcohol.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics showing that alcohol-related deaths have increased for the second year running, highlighting the need for effective policies to regulate the 24 hour availability of cheap, heavily marketed drink, particularly in our supermarkets and off-licences.
This Back to Basics feature is a wallchart describing the functions of a healthy liver – the largest organ in the body. It carries out more than 500 tasks essential for life. This wallchart accompanies details on the new NICE guideline on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Liver disease is now the fifth leading cause of death in the UK but the good news is that liver disease is largely preventable and there is much we can do in primary care to educate people about the risks. This article explains the importance of identifying those patients who are at risk of liver disease, implementing risk reduction strategies, ensuring an accurate diagnosis is made and optimising ongoing management, including self-care strategies.
We are a nation with an alcohol-induced dichotomy: we have a love affair with alcohol but are increasingly aware of its dangers. The pub has been a cornerstone of our society, providing a source of relationships and artistic imagination. However, our nation's favourite drug is also responsible for as many life-years lost as tobacco, but with additional psychological and socio-economic costs.
Chronic liver disease is a problem for all of us. It develops silently, often taking many years to cause sufficient damage to be detectable or cause signs or symptoms for which a patient would seek attention. Primary care has a central role in improving the prevention and early detection of chronic liver disease. This special issue of the British Journal of Primary Care Nursing (BJPCN) and Primary Care Cardiovascular Journal on chronic liver disease is full of step-by-step guides and informative articles to give you the key information and tools to get to grips with this important condition.
Liver disease is the fifth largest cause of mortality in England, after heart disease, cancer, stroke and respiratory disease. Of this 'big five', liver disease is the only major cause of death that is rising year on year, and it affects people at a younger age. It is also becoming clear that chronic hepatitis B infection is making an increasing contribution to the rising death toll from liver disease. Recently published NICE guidelines now give practice nurses and GPs a key role in the initial assessment and onward referral of patients to specialist services, and their subsequent care.