The rising obesity level is one of the main reasons for the increasing number of people diagnosed with liver disease in the North West of England, especially among men, the BBC reports.
According to new data from the North West Public Health Observatory, the death toll from liver disease in the region has increased by a fifth since 2005 and is 42% higher than the national average. The figures show an alarming picture of liver health among the male population in the North West, warns Mark Bellis, professor of public health.
The high liver disease death rate in the area can be attributed to high obesity levels and alcohol abuse, the report states. The number of people admitted to hospital because of health problems stemming from fatty liver has soared by a shocking 182%.
Overall, the death rate from liver disease among British men increased from 27 per 100,000 seven years ago to 30.9 per 100,000 in 2010. Deaths now occur at a much younger age, but their peak is among people within the 55-to-64 age group. In comparison, death rates among women have remained unchanged. At present, liver disease accounts for about 2% of all deaths in the UK, with people from deprived areas being the most affected, the report found.
Professor Bellis says that obesity and alcohol abuse are the key factors that contribute to liver disease. Drinking alcoholic beverages in moderate quantities and maintaining healthy weight can be an effective means to minimise the risk of developing the condition, experts say.