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Expert urges progress in fight against liver disease

Category: Liver Diseases

The number of people receiving unhealthy liver panel tests indicating they have liver disease is increasing at such as pace that researchers are calling for renewed efforts to investigation the causes of the problem and search for solutions.

In a presentation at Digestive Diseases Week, Donald Jensen, the director of the Center for Liver Diseases at the University of Chicago, said that obesity has led to dramatic increase in non-alcoholic fatty liver. This problem has even spread to children, as millions of young people have impaired liver health, a condition that may haunt them for the rest of their lives.

"Liver disease often leads to lifelong problems and serious consequences," Jensen said. "With increasing incidence, it is more important than ever to investigate the causes, prevention and treatment for conditions like nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases and chronic hepatitis C."

The problem has gotten so bad that the nation's supply of livers available for transplantation is threatened. Jensen said that many of the organs have to be discarded because they are so low quality. Addressing the epidemic of fatty liver disease may help reverse this trend.

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