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21-11-2012 | General practice | Article

CMO flags liver mortality


Chief Medical Officer’s report

medwireNews: The Chief Medical Officer has highlighted the rise in deaths from preventable liver disease in the UK.

In volume one of her first annual report, On the State of the Public's Health, Dame Sally Davies says that liver disease is one of the few major causes of early mortality increasing in the UK.

The report cites an increase in liver disease mortality between 2001 and 2010 from 13.9 to 16.6 cases per 100,000 head of population, with alcohol, obesity, and chronic hepatitis B and C infection the main factors behind the rise.

While the rate of liver disease among individuals aged less than 65 years in the UK rose by a fifth over this period, a similar magnitude of decrease was reported for most of the EU-15 countries.

"Where a local authority age standardised liver disease mortality rate is higher than 20 per 100,000 population, this is likely to be due to local alcohol culture or undiagnosed hepatitis infection," states the report.

Dame Davies said comprehensive action was required to target this increase.

"Long-term reduction of mortality due to liver disease requires concerted public health action on these drivers, better awareness amongst the public of their liver health, and greater effort by service providers to proactively detect early signs of liver disease," she writes in the report.

The second volume of the Chief Medical Officer's annual report will be published in early 2013.

medwireNews ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Lynda Williams, Senior MedwireNews Reporter