Major progress has been made in the past 30 years in the knowledge and management of liver disease, yet approximately 29 million Europeans still suffer from a chronic liver condition.
The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) today unveiled its new publication The burden of liver disease in Europe: a review of available epidemiological data. Key findings in the report suggest that alcohol consumption, viral hepatitis B and C and metabolic syndromes related to overweight and obesity are the leading causes of cirrhosis and primary liver cancer in Europe. The report is the result of a review of 260 epidemiological studies published in the last five years in order to survey the current state of evidence on the burden of liver disease in Europe and its causes. Speaking immediately before a launch event, hosted by Mr Stephen Hughes MEP, at the European Parliament, Prof. Mark Thursz, EASL Secretary-General, noted that "although the incidence and prevalence of liver disease in Europe is alarming, what is encouraging to see is that each of the major causes of liver disease is potentially amenable to prevention and treatment. This means we all have an opportunity to make a difference, through implementing the right policy changes. The report shows us the importance of tackling the excessive consumption of alcohol which is the leading cause of cirrhosis and primary liver cancer. The Scottish Minimum Unit Pricing of alcohol is an example of the urgent measures needed and we continue to draw attention to the importance of its implementation".