Editorials

Services for liver disease in the United Kingdom

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7521.858 (Published 13 October 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:858
  1. Roger Williams ([email protected]), director
  1. University College London, UCL Institute of Hepatology, London WC1E 6HX

    Need improving urgently as hepatic morbidity and mortality rise

    Mortality from liver disease is increasing in the United Kingdom. In 2000 liver disease killed more men than Parkinson's disease and more women than cancer of the cervix. The average mortality among patients admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of liver disease was 18.2% in 2004 with a large range, which suggests (once clinical factors have been accounted for) that the standard of care may vary widely from place to place.1

    Liver disease has many causes, almost all of them increasing in prevalence. Mortality from alcoholic liver disease has doubled in the past 10 years and, as the chief medical officer pointed out in 2001,2 these deaths occur mainly among men aged 40-60. Fewer than 10% of an estimated 300 000 cases of infection with hepatitis C virus have been diagnosed and the prevalence of the related chronic liver disease is expected to treble by 2020. Moreover 6000 people who are hepatitis B positive are coming into the United Kingdom …

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