Council liver disease statistics reveal wide variations

Public Health England has launched the Liver Disease Profiles, revealing significant variation in mortality across the country. Liver disease is the only major cause of mortality and morbidity which is on the increase in England whilst it is decreasing in the rest of Europe.

Liver disease is one of the leading causes of premature mortality in England: 1 in 10 people who die in their 40s die of liver disease. In addition, new research shows that in some areas, the numbers of years of life lost in people aged under 75 from liver disease is almost 3 times the number of years of life lost from both breast cancer and from stroke. Some populations are more affected by liver disease than others. For example, the male mortality rate is 4 times higher in some local authorities compared to others. Similarly, there are large variations in hospital admissions from liver disease. Over 90% of liver disease is due to 3 main preventable and treatable risk factors: alcohol, hepatitis B and C, and obesity.

The Liver Disease Profiles provide an invaluable resource relating to one of the main causes of premature mortality nationally; a disease whose mortality rates are increasing in England, while decreasing in most EU countries. The local authority profiles will support the development of Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and work of Health and Wellbeing Boards presenting local key statistics and highlighting questions to ask locally about current action to prevent liver disease. The profiles contain rates of hospital admissions and mortality rates from these risk factors showing each local authority’s position compared to the England average.

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