Increasing incidence of liver disease in India

Kozhikode: The increasing incidence of liver disease and liver failure throughout the world was now also seen in India, Dr N Murugan, Consultant Hepatologist and Liver
Transplant Physician, Apollo Hospital, Chennai, said today.

Speaking to mediapersons here, he said that once the liver is damaged, a condition known as cirrhosis of liver sets in, which then leads to liver failure, liver cancer and death within a few months to years.

`The leading cause of liver disease in India is excess alcohol consumption and Kerala has the highest per capita consumption of alcohol`, he said.

In the initial stages there would be fat accumululation in the liver. This could be improved and even cured if the patients stop drinking and take regular medications, he said.

The other leading causes of liver disease and liver cirrhosis are Hepatitis B and C infections, which silently damge the liver over a period of years, he said.

`There is also an emerging disease of the liver called NASH (or fatty liver), mainly due to `westernisation` of our diet and a sedentary lifestyle, and associated disorders like obesity, diabetes and high triglyceride levels, he said.

The most effective treatment for patients with end-stage liver diesease was to undergo liver transplantation, he said.