Liver disease increases in England
The number of people suffering from liver disease is on the increase in England while other European countries it is decreasing, health experts have said.
The UK's chief medical officer (CMO) Professor Dame Sally Davies said that obesity, undiagnosed hepatitis infections and harmful alcohol use are among the causes for the rising tide of disease.
She said that the public needs to have a better awareness about liver health as the three major causes of liver disease are all preventable.
Between 2000 and 2009, deaths from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis in the under 65s increased by about 20% while they fell by the same amount in most EU countries, according a new report by the CMO.
She said that local health authorities should prioritise preventing, identifying and treating liver disease.
Dame Sally said: "I have done a comprehensive analysis of the state of the country's health, and found some areas where we are doing really well and others where there is still a lot of improvement needed.
"I was struck by the data on liver disease particularly. This is the only major cause of preventable death that is on the increase in England that is generally falling in other comparable European nations. We must act to change this."