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Deaths from liver disease reach record highs in the UK

Published on 21/03/2012

More evidence is building about the negative effects of alcohol on British society, as a report reveals that deaths from liver disease in the UK have reached a record high.

The report from the National End of Life Care Intelligence Network analysed trends in death rates and costs of care.

It shows that there were 11,575 deaths from liver disease in 2009, compared with 9,231 in 2001. This is a rise of 25 per cent in just under a decade.

Experts blame the increase in heavy drinking and obesity in Britain, as well as the high incidence of hepatitis on the rise of liver disease deaths. Men are disproportionately affected because they drink more alcohol.

The report follows figures published last December which showed that there had been a 60 per cent rise in alcoholic liver disease in young people over 7 years.

Professor Martin Lombard, national clinical director for liver disease, said: "This report makes for stark reading. We must focus our efforts and tackle this problem sooner rather than later."

But excessive alcohol does not just increase risk of liver disease. Alcohol can increase the risk of seven types of cancer, including breast and bowel. Experts say that nearly 12,500 cancers in the UK are caused by alcohol each year.

And alcohol abuse is also putting pressure on our already struggling NHS. Charity Alcohol Concern has predicted that rates of alcohol related hospital admissions will cost the NHS £3.7bn a year by 2015.

Compare health insurance quotes online to get covered for treatment in a private hospital on your private medical insurance.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

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