Alcohol blamed for 40% rise in liver disease deaths in just 12 years

This is not just happening in the UK but right here in NZ and Australia as well. Alcohol intake is the chief cause of the rapid, shocking and preventable” increase in liver disease death rates.

“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. Liver disease develops silently and obvious signs and symptoms may only appear when changes are irreversible. Most people who die of liver disease don’t realise they’ve got it until a very late stage, they can’t be saved. I vividly remember the terrible suffering of patients with end stage liver disease, coming in as an emergency, vomiting vast quantities of blood. Liver disease has gone from being a rare disease to one seen frequently in every hospital and general practice. People die from liver disease at a young age with more than 1 in 10 in their 40s…”
Professor Julia Verne

What are the devastating 2015 Public Health England (PHE), National Health Service (NHS), and Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) numbers?

  • A 40% rise in liver deaths over the past 12 years (2001-2012)
  • Men twice as likely to be diagnosed as women
  • Almost 75% of UK teenagers have blacked out due to alcohol by the time they hit 19
  • Death from liver diseases in the UK is a growing epidemic
  • Liver disease is now the fifth “big killer” in England and Wales, after heart disease, cancer, strokes and respiratory disease
  • Alcohol caused around 1.2 MILLION UK hospital admissions in 2011/12
  • This is over double that in 2002/2003
  • In 2011, there were 6,923 deaths directly related to alcohol
  • 64% of this was from alcoholic liver disease
  • This damage is a 26% increase since 2001
  • There was a massive 73% increase in the past nine years for alcohol dependency treatments
  • Of the 304,200 admissions wholly attributable to alcohol in 2011/12, nearly 207,000 were diagnosed as mental and behavioural disorders
  • Alcohol costs to the National Health Service (NHS) are £3.5 billion every year

“A devastating rise of poor liver health and unnecessary deaths of increasingly younger people from liver disease”
Andrew Langford, British Liver Trust

Written by Jason Shon Bennett from ExceptionalHealth®.   


  • Study by Professor Julia Verne and publically released by Public Health England (PHE) on Monday 20 October 2014. Also; numbers from The All Party Parliamentary Hepatology Group Inquiry into Improving Outcomes in Liver Disease report ‘Liver Disease: today’s complacency, tomorrow’s Catastrophe’, 2014.
  • Study survey on 1,402 teens as published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, December 16, 2014.


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