Wednesday 21st November 2012
The increase of liver disease cases in England has been blamed on consuming high quantities of alcohol and being obese.
A study by Professor Dame Sally Davies has revealed that the country is one of only a few European nations that have experienced a rise in the amount of deaths that are associated to liver disease. In her annual report Dame Sally highlighted that this illness had risen by 20 per cent over the past ten years in people under the age of 65 and the chief medical officer noted that both consuming too much alcohol and being obese are main factors in these statistics.
While England was experiencing a surge in these fatalities, other countries across Europe were seeing a drop and Dame Sally believes that urgent change is required to ensure that this worrying trend does not continue into the future. One of the suggestions put forward was enforcing a more stringent ruling on alcohol pricing akin to similar regulation that could be imposed in Scotland where both of these factors are of major concern to the country's government.
"I was struck by the data on liver disease particularly. This is the only major cause of preventative death that is on the increase in England that is generally falling in other comparable European nations. We must act to change this," Dame Sally explained.
In Scotland, the government wants to introduce the minimum pricing per unit for alcohol to ensure that people are deterred from purchasing high strength beers, wines and liquors. Ministers in the country recently received the back of the UK government to impose a 50p per unit pricing policy on alcohol in the country despite challenges from the Scottish Whisky Association.
Statistics from the NHS show that alcohol consumption is a major factor within the onset of liver disease, as 90 to 100 per cent of heavy drinkers has alcoholic fatty liver disease, with death rates rising by 69 per cent in the past 30 years.
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written by Mathew Horton