New liver health screening tool launched
Although over 60,000 adults in the UK have cirrhosis of the liver, nearly 75% are not aware of it, according to research published in the Lancet. For many, the first indication is following admission to A&E when the disease is very advanced and the chance of survival is very low. The British Liver Trust has launched a new version of an online screening tool so that people can find out if they are at risk.
Deaths from liver disease have increased by 400% since the 1970s yet most cases are entirely preventable with the major risk factors, alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis, accounting for up to 90% of cases. Professor Nick Sheron, a liver expert from the University of Southampton involved in the research, said: "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. We must diagnose these people much earlier."
Judi Rhys, Chief Executive, British Liver Trust said, “Helping people understand how to reduce their risk of liver damage is vital to address the increase in deaths from liver disease. Although the liver is remarkably resilient, if left too late damage is often irreversible. I would urge everyone to take our online screener on our website to see if they are at risk.”
The British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign focuses on three simple steps to Love Your Liver back to health:
- 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 hepatitis and get tested or vaccinated if at risk
See the ‘Love Your Liver Health Screener’ at: https://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/our-work/love-your-liver/love-liver-health-screener/
Williams R, et al. Addressing liver disease in the UK: a blueprint for attaining excellence in health care and reducing premature mortality from lifestyle issues of excess consumption of alcohol, obesity, and viral hepatitis. The Lancet 2014;384(9958):1953-97
British Liver Trust at https://www.britishlivertrust.org.uk/