Why are so many Australians dying of cirrhosis of the liver?
A new study finds it’s because of the country’s high rates of obesity, a lack of exercise and lack of access to health services.
Key points:Researchers say it’s the “perfect storm” of poor health and a lack in access to careThe Australian Medical Association is calling for greater public health and wellness in the countryHealth experts say a lack or lack of awareness about liver disease and the lack of available liver services is leading people to seek out liver treatmentInstead, the researchers say liver disease is the “correct response” in the best interests of patients.
“People with liver disease can be a lot of stress on people, particularly older people,” Professor Stephen O’Brien from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Medicine said.
“They’re getting older and they can get more ill.”
Professor O’Donnell said many people would be better off being at home and getting regular exercise and proper medical care.
“If you’re going to live at home you can’t be doing the things that are putting you at risk for cirrhotic liver disease,” he said.”
So you need a much better understanding of the underlying cause, of the mechanisms of what is causing liver disease.
“Professor Brian Rimmer from the Queensland Institute of Health and Medical Research said liver disease was not always a cause for concern.”
We’re not saying we should be eating poorly or not exercising,” he told the ABC.”
But we’re saying we need to think about these things more carefully, to think how to help our older people to cope better.
“He said there was evidence to suggest liver disease, which is more common in older people, could be a “pre-existing condition”.”
We don’t really have a great idea of what the underlying causes of cirrucous liver disease are, but it’s something we need more research into,” he added.
Dr Rimmer said if people with liver problems did not get help, it could lead to complications.”
It could be that someone is getting too little, or they’re not getting the right type of liver support, or there’s something else going on,” he explained.”
Or the liver may be damaged and the liver isn’t producing its normal level of enzymes and that’s going to lead to liver failure.”‘
It’s not just about weight’The research, which was funded by the Australian Medical Research Council and published in the journal BMJ Open, found that Australians aged 65 and over were more than twice as likely as those aged under 50 to have cirrhosed their liver.”
The researchers say the most important reason people with cirrhoses are getting liver disease may be the lack or absence of adequate liver support,” Professor O’Connor said.’We don