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New Report Indicates Urgent Global Need for Liver Disease Prevention & Treatment

As part of its Liver Health is Public Health initiative, Global Liver Institute’s (GLI) recent Global State of Liver Health report has exposed alarming trends in liver disease through compiled statistics and expert perspectives. As lifestyle habits evolve and global management of other major diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular conditions) improves, liver disease has become one of the leading causes of death and illness worldwide.

Liver Disease by the Numbers

Liver disease of various forms is rising at an alarming rate 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 (ALD). Although preventive and curative technology exists, many developing countries are 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.”

As liver conditions continue to be misunderstood, mischaracterized, and stigmatized, they are under-diagnosed, under-treated, and result in unnecessarily poor outcomes. GLI’s Liver Health is Public Health 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. We call upon stakeholders to:

  • Recognize and understand the dangers of liver disease and tackle its causes and risk factors
  • Coordinate with diverse community members to continue to produce patient-centered clinical guidelines and quality measures
  • Instigate and support basic, clinical, translational, socio-economic research in liver disease
  • Educate and equip patients to participate in managing their own disease and to become a conduit for supporting others

For more information or to join the Liver Health is Public Health initiative, please email gdonnini@globalliver.org. We welcome partners and endorsers from the breadth of public health and health care.