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Liver disease prognosis 'depends on locale'

15 September 2017 08:16

Obesity, alcohol misuse and hepatitis are the main causes of liver disease

Obesity, alcohol misuse and hepatitis are the main causes of liver disease

People in parts of East Anglia are eight times more likely to survive liver disease than Blackpool residents, according to new data by Public Health England (PHE).

The health body has published a new liver disease "atlas" to highlight the wide variation across Britain of surviving the preventable disease.

Figures show that you are 7.7 times more likely to survive the condition if you live in South Norfolk compared with the northwest seaside resort, at 3.9 per 100,000 and 30.1 per 100,000 respectively.

PHE believe the atlas will go a long way in targeting treatments for the condition.

Professor Julia Verne, PHE's Head of Clinical Epidemiology, says: "Chronic liver disease is a silent killer of young adults, creeping up and showing itself when it's often too late. However, around 90% of liver disease is preventable."

Targeted treatment

The atlas aims to assist GPs and medical professionals to allocate resources and improve patient outcomes, particularly in high-risk areas.

"We hope local health professionals will make the most of this rich data source to inform how they reduce the burden of liver disease in their areas," added Professor Verne.

Anyone suffering from a liver condition can look to take out medical travel insurance for added assurance when travelling abroad.

Hard to diagnose

Liver disease is now the fourth most likely condition to cut short a life in people aged below 75, following heart disease and lung cancer.

As many nine in 10 cases of liver disease cases are entirely preventable and the NHS warns that three of its main causes are obesity, alcohol misuse and undiagnosed hepatitis.

Because symptoms can take up to 20 years to show, the condition often goes undiagnosed.