UK’s spiralling obesity crisis could lead to liver disease boom

The ever-increasing number of Britons who have type 2 diabetes are more than twice as likely to develop aggressive liver disease, a major study has found.

The review of nearly 19million people said those with diabetes should be monitored closely because of their raised risk of life-threatening liver disease.

The study, led by experts at Queen Mary University of London and the University of Glasgow, suggests the UK’s spiralling obesity crisis could lead to a spike in cases of liver cancer.

The review of nearly 19million people said those with diabetes should be monitored closely because of their raised risk of life-threatening liver disease

The review of nearly 19million people said those with diabetes should be monitored closely because of their raised risk of life-threatening liver disease

Type 2 diabetes is directly linked to poor diet and sedentary lifestyles and is the UK’s fastest growing health crisis, with the number of those affected doubling over the last two decades. NHS figures published last month revealed there were 202,665 new cases of type 2 diabetes diagnosed across England and Wales in 2017 – or one every three minutes.

Diabetes is associated with a plethora of health problems and the study will raise further concerns about its links with dangerous liver conditions.

It found a direct link between type 2 diabetes patients across Europe with those who also suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Analysis found that those with diabetes are 2.3 times more likely to develop an aggressive form of this disease, known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, than healthy adults.

Having type 2 diabetes increases the risk of liver disease developing into cancer and cirrhosis, scarring linked to long-term liver damage.

Lead researcher Dr William Alazawi, from Queen Mary University of London, said: ‘People living with diabetes are at increased risk of more advanced, life-threatening stages of disease. This suggests that we should be focusing our efforts in educating and preventing liver disease in diabetes patients.’

The study, led by experts at Queen Mary University of London and the University of Glasgow, suggests the UK’s spiralling obesity crisis could lead to a spike in cases of liver cancer

The study, led by experts at Queen Mary University of London and the University of Glasgow, suggests the UK’s spiralling obesity crisis could lead to a spike in cases of liver cancer

More than two million Britons suffer from various types of liver disease, but it often goes undiagnosed.

Of the 18.8million adults sampled for the study from the UK, Netherlands, Italy and Spain, 136,700 were recorded as having both severe and less severe types of liver disease.

The study, published in the journal BMC Medicine, is the largest of its kind and showed that those with liver disease are also more likely to develop high blood pressure and obesity.

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease which occurs if the body stops producing insulin. Type 2 is largely preventable. 

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