Intended for healthcare professionals


Deaths from liver disease are four times higher in some parts of England than others

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 21 October 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6332
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Male mortality rates from liver disease are four times higher in some local authority areas than in others, new liver disease profiles from Public Health England have shown.

They also showed large variation in hospital admissions for liver disease in different parts of the country.1 Over 90% of liver disease is due to three main preventable and treatable risk factors: alcohol, hepatitis B and C, and obesity.

The profiles included rates of hospital admissions and mortality, showing each local authority’s position against the England average. The statistics are intended to help develop Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and to support the work of Health and Wellbeing Boards.

Liver disease is one of the leading causes of premature mortality in England; one in every 10 people who die in their 40s dies of liver disease. And mortality rates from liver disease are increasing in England but decreasing in most countries of the European Union. In 2008, 16 087 people died from liver disease in the United Kingdom, a 4.5% increase since 2007.

Julia Verne, lead for liver disease at Public Health England, said, “Liver disease is a public health priority because young lives are being needlessly lost. All the preventable causes are on the rise, but alcohol accounts for 37% of liver disease deaths.

“We must do more to raise awareness, nationally and locally, and this is why it is so important for the public and health professionals to understand their local picture.”


Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6332


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