Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Looking After the Liver

Looking After the Liver

Professor Roger Williams, CBE

Sometimes I now see in my practice adolescents who, because of obesity or starting to drink early, have developed severe consequences in terms of organ damage. 
As for the chronically infected Hepatitis B (HBV) and Hepatitis C (HCV) subjects in the country, the numbers are similarly escalating. The pool of chronic HBV infections, estimated at 325,000 persons, has doubled in the past ten years and an additional 7,500 cases are being added each year consequent on immigration from countries with high prevalence rates for HBV. A similar number of HCV positive immigrants are likely to be entering the UK each year and the pool of chronic HCV infections in the country is conservatively estimated at over 200,000 subjects. Less that 20% are thought to have been diagnosed to date for, as with HBV infection, the majority of cases are asymptomatic until the disease is advanced. Because of the long natural history of chronic HCV hepatitis, it is estimated end stage cirrhosis and HCC will peak in 2020. It already constitutes the second major category of end-stage liver disease requiring transplantation in the UK, alcoholic liver disease being the first.....

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