London is in the grip of a health epidemic that threatens the lives of thousands of people, most of whom may be completely unaware that they are even ill, the British Liver Trust says.
This is the stark warning being issued by the British Liver Trust as it brings its 'Love Your Liver' Campaign to the capital.
London is currently experiencing a year-on-year increase in the number of hospital admissions due to liver disease.
Over 10,000 Londoners were admitted to hospital for liver disease in 2014/15 alone, and the rate of premature deaths in the capital due to hepatitis B is more than double the rate for England as a whole.
Risks to liver health include alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis. Unfortunately, London has a higher than average number of young people classed as overweight.
The British Liver Trust's is urging all Londoners to be aware of the risks to liver health, and for everyone to 'Love Your Liver'.
Barking and Dagenham has the highest rate of premature deaths from liver disease, per head of population, across London. It resulted in 89 premature deaths in Barking and
Dagenham in 2013-2015, of which a third were due to alcohol related liver disease and ten percent to non-alcohol related fatty liver disease or to hepatitis B or C related end-stage liver disease.
Sadly, most of these deaths could have been prevented with increased awareness and earlier diagnosis.
How to help prevent liver disease:
Liver disease is largely preventable. More than 90% is due to three main risk factors: alcohol, obesity and viral hepatitis.
The British Liver Trust's 'Love Your Liver' campaign focuses on three simple steps to Love Your Liver back to health:
Drink within recommended limits and have three consecutive days off alcohol every week
Cut down on sugar, carbohydrates and fat and take more exercise
Know the risk factors for viral hepatitis and get tested or vaccinated if at risk
These simple steps help the liver to keep functioning at its best.
The Trust provides support and detailed information for anyone with, or affected by a liver condition. For more information, or to take the online 'Love Your Liver' health screener,