If We Do Not Prevent Liver Disease Now, the World Will Face Devastating Loss of Both Life and Financial Resources
Global Liver Institute’s “Global State of Liver Health” Report Exposes Alarming Trends
Washington, DC – November 3, 2022 – Global Liver Institute (GLI), the premier patient-led liver health nonprofit operating globally, announces the launch of its Global State of Liver Health report as part of its Liver Health is Public Health (LHPH) initiative. Through compiled statistics and expert perspectives, the report paints a preliminary picture of the key issues in liver health worldwide as well as the unique challenges faced by communities in specific regions before providing recommendations for the future.
As lifestyle habits change and global management of other major diseases improves, such as diabetes and cardiovascular conditions, liver diseases have risen to become one of the leading causes of death and illness worldwide.
- Liver disease accounts for 2 million deaths each year.
- Liver transplantation, one of the only treatments for end-stage liver disease, is the second most common solid organ transplantation, yet it remains largely inaccessible.
- Viral hepatitis affects more than 360 million people worldwide.
As the Global State of Liver Health report has revealed, liver disease of various forms is rising at a rate that alarms experts worldwide. Changing dietary patterns and sedentary lifestyles have contributed to skyrocketing obesity rates – which are tied closely to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). As cultural stigma against alcohol softens, excessive alcohol use is on the rise – and with it, alcohol-associated liver disease. Though the technology exists, many developing countries are also still struggling to keep viral hepatitis under control. National-level action with community-level impact is necessary to keep these threats at bay in the coming years.
“A scarcity of high-quality, summative information about liver health worldwide has forestalled an informed, effective response to the rising challenge of liver disease,” stated Donna R. Cryer, president and CEO of GLI. “For the 1.5 billion people in the world living with liver diseases – including me – this has been unacceptable. This groundbreaking report is both a rallying cry and a foundational resource for clinicians, policymakers, and community leaders to build upon as they combat liver disease.”
Liver conditions continue to be misunderstood, mischaracterized, and stigmatized, which results in under-diagnosis, under-treatment, and unnecessarily poor outcomes. The LHPH initiative urges the broader health field to consider liver health as an integral part of public health – from nutrition, physical activity, and other prevention to robust screening, early diagnosis, and clinical pathways. It is changing the conversation about liver health by activating experts, educating the public, and empowering patients and advocates around the world.
“We are enormously grateful to the experts who gave us a window into their worlds,” shared Giacomo Donnini, GLI’s Director of Liver Health is Public Health. “Liver health is rooted in the community – so the expert input from within the communities facing liver disease was critical to comprehensive understanding. Now, we must act together to protect liver health around the world.”
GLI is working collaboratively with more than 200 global partners across GLI’s liver councils and other global efforts on the LHPH initiative. LHPH is endorsed by Arizona Liver Health, the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver, the Community Liver Alliance, Empire Liver Foundation, the European Reference Network (ERN) on Metabolic Diseases, the European Society for Organ Transplant (ESOT), the Fatty Liver Alliance, the Fatty Liver Foundation, HepCURE, the Italian Association for the Study of the Liver (AISF), the Hepatology Society of the Philippines, the Latin American Association for the Study of the Liver (ALEH), the Liver Coalition of San Diego, the Liver Health Foundation, Liver Patients International, the Liver Wellness Foundation, the Midsouth Liver Alliance, NASH kNOWledge, the Northeast Ohio Liver Alliance, the PBC Foundation, the South Asia Association for the Study of the Liver (SAASL), the Texas Liver Foundation, Turkish Association for the Study of the Liver (TASL), and the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA).
This initiative is made possible thanks to the support of Sanofi and Salix Pharmaceuticals.
About Global Liver Institute
Global Liver Institute (GLI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in the belief that liver health must take its place on the global public health agenda commensurate with the prevalence and impact of liver illness. GLI promotes innovation, encourages collaboration, and supports the scaling of optimal approaches to help eradicate liver diseases. Operating globally, GLI is committed to solving the problems that matter to liver patients and equipping advocates to improve the lives of individuals and families impacted by liver disease. Follow GLI on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.