According to a new analysis by the British Liver Trust, liver disease has emerged as the biggest cause of mortality in individuals aged 35 to 49 years in the UK. The statistics for 2017 indicate 998 deaths from liver disease in men and women between 35 and 49 years of age, which accounts for 10% of all deaths in the age group.
These figures were released to coincide with the Love Your Liver campaign which aims to improve the awareness of liver disease and the importance of its early detection.
Other key findings highlighted in the report were:
- Liver disease is expected to surpass heart disease as the primary cause of premature mortality in the coming years.
- The incidence of liver cancer in the UK has increased by 63 per cent over the past decade.
- Individuals residing in areas with higher deprivation have a greater likelihood of dying from alcohol-related liver disease than those residing in wealthier areas.
- One in three individuals are likely to have early-stage non-alcohol related fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and 20 per cent of them are at risk of developing a more serious liver condition resulting in cirrhosis.
Obesity, alcohol and viral hepatitis are the three main causes of liver disease, accounting for 90 per cent of the cases. Pamela Healy, Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust, said: "We are facing a liver disease epidemic in the UK. Helping people understand how to reduce their risk of liver damage is vital to address the increase in deaths from liver disease."