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American Liver Foundation Endorses Institute of Medicine Report on Hepatitis and Liver Cancer

The report highlights the enormous impact undiagnosed and untreated viral hepatitis will have on public health over the next few years.

On January 11, 2010, The Institute of Medicine issued its report on hepatitis and liver cancer indicating the need for heightened public awareness, increased vaccination requirements and a boost to resources for prevention and treatment.

The report highlights the enormous impact undiagnosed and untreated viral
hepatitis will have on public health over the next few years. It is estimated that over 5 million people have hepatitis B or C and yet are not aware of their condition as they have no symptoms. Often by the time symptoms appear the disease has progressed and more serious treatment options such as liver transplants must be explored.

The American Liver Foundation endorses the findings of this report. Dr. Allan Wolkoff, Board Chair of the American Liver Foundation and Chief of Hepatology and Professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York said, “We at the American Liver Foundation have known for a long time the looming threat of undiagnosed hepatitis B and hepatitis C within high risk communities and we are very pleased that the Institute of Medicine’s report highlights this important public health issue. Our efforts have been focused on education and prevention along with investing in innovative research for novel treatments. It is our hope that this report will lead to greater attention paid to these often silent but serious disorders.”

The American Liver Foundation (ALF) offers education resources for all ages including a program directed to school age children titled “Love Your Liver.” Love Your Liver emphasizes the importance of liver health and defines actions anyone at any age can take to maximize liver health and prevent liver disease. Since October 2009, Love Your Liver has reached more than 35,000 elementary, middle and high school students nationwide. It has been recognized the by American

Public Health Association and the American School Nurses Association for its successful program model and effective age-appropriate methods.
ALF also works with the at-risk hepatitis B and hepatitis C populations through the “Think B and Treatment Choices Initiative”. Both provide community-based culturally-competent education programs to populations most affected by these diseases. Through them, and the Liver Cancer Initiative which offers education material in 13 languages, ALF has reached tens of thousands of individuals nationwide, promoting liver health and disease prevention.

Page updated: May 9th, 2011


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