Wiltshire at record high for alcoholic liver disease

Wiltshire at record high for alcoholic liver disease

Published by Spire FM News at 5:45am 12th February 2020. (Updated at 6:23am 12th February 2020)

3 minute read

New figures have revealed an "alarming" number of people who are drinking too much alcohol.

200 people in Wiltshire were admitted to hospital last year with liver disease caused by excessive alcohol intake.

Alcohol is the most common cause of liver disease in England, and the number of people with the condition has risen over the last few decades, according to the NHS.

6 in 10 people with liver disease in the UK have alcohol-related liver disease.

Hospital patient generic PIXABAY
Hospital admissions for alcohol related disease are at a record high in Wiltshire

WHAT IS ALCOHOL RELATED LIVER DISEASE?

Years of alcohol abuse can cause the liver to become inflamed and swollen. 

People with the disease are often unaware of it until their liver has been severely damaged, when more serious symptoms such as yellowing skin, abdominal swelling and severe weight loss can develop.

There are several stages, with Cirrhosis the worst where the liver has become significantly scarred.

A person who has alcohol-related cirrhosis and doesn't stop drinking has a less than 50% chance of living for at least 5 more years.

You can find out more about the condition on the NHS website.

MISCONCEPTION

Pamela Healy, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, said:

"There is a common misconception that you have to be an 'alcoholic' to have liver disease but this is totally incorrect. Millions of us in the UK drink at a level that is putting our health at risk.

"This has been driven by a shift in the drinking culture where drinking at home has become increasingly acceptable and affordable.

"While initiatives like Dry January and Sober for October are a great way to reset your relationship with alcohol and give your liver health a boost, making long-term changes is vital.

Alcohol - Alcoholic drinks - Beer Wine Spirits at the pub bar
Make long term changes to your drinking habits to protect yourself.

REDUCE YOUR RISK

By drinking no more than 14 units a week and having three consecutive days each week without alcohol, many people can reduce their risk of developing liver disease.

CALL TO INCREASE ALCOHOL PRICE

The Chief Exec of the British Liver Trust also wants the Government needs to take "urgent action" by increasing the price of alcohol and introducing clearer labelling to help people understand drinking limits.

In England, nearly 13,000 people under the age of 75 died of alcoholic liver disease between 2016 and 2018.

Rosanna O’Connor, director of drugs, alcohol and tobacco at Public Health England said: 

"It’s vital that those drinking too much or at risk get the help they need when it’s needed.

"PHE is working closely with the NHS to ensure health care professionals are able to identify those at risk and provide them with advice."

 

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