Routine drinking may cause fatal liver damage

Tuesday 28th October, 2008

A new study has found that a third of people classed as ‘regular drinkers’ are at risk of suffering liver damage which will increase their risk of an early death.

Routine drinkers were characterised in the study as working people who drink higher than average amounts of alcohol but do not regard themselves as having an alcohol problem.

In the research carried out by University College in London, results found liver abnormalities to be unexpectedly high in this group of people who are representative of the working public in society.

The medical profession have warned that liver disease symptoms are often felt when it is too late and in 20-25% of patients there is the chance of an early death.

Researchers discovered that 1,000 men and women involved in the study purchased home testing kits for liver damage. However, despite being concerned about the damage they were doing to their livers most were not prepared to visit their GP.

70% of people studied were found to exceed the recommended limit of 14 alcohol units per week for women and 21 units for men. Over 40% claimed they drank everyday.

Enzyme levels have been linked to liver damage and this study revealed that around 30% of those tested had abnormal levels.

With nearly two million people in Britain suffering with Chronic liver disease, deaths have increased by eight times in men aged 35-44 and seven times in women over the age of 30.



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