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Check out the infographic above and learn some amazing facts about liver disease by clicking here.
To coincide with Liver Awareness Month, here’s a Q&A “big picture” guide that highlights key issues about liver disease. Check out the infographic. Plus, watch the video that reveals how people like you or someone you love can, without warning, be affected by liver disease.
Q: We hear about diseases that are under control or no longer the severe threat they once were. Are any liver diseases on the rise?
Q: How many people in the United States have liver disease?
A: At least 30 million people—or one in 10 Americans—have some form of liver disease. At the same time, keep in mind that there are more than 100 types of liver disease.
Q: Can we break down some of these numbers?
A: Three examples:
Q: If someone has liver disease, are they immediately aware of it?
A: Very often they aren’t.
Q: Does liver disease strike people of any age?
A: Yes. Take children, for example:
Q: Talking about adults, what about older Americans and liver disease?
A: Let’s limit our answer to another story making headlines.A high profile study unveiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that more than 75 percent of adults with hepatitis C are baby boomers, those born between1945 and 1965. It’s estimated that one in every 33 baby boomers has viral hepatitis. They are five times more likely to have hepatitis C. The CDC recommends that all baby boomers get tested for the virus, as should all at-risk groups.
Q: Why are baby boomers so susceptible to hepatitis C?
A: The CDC states that reason isn’t completely understood. Most boomers are believed to have become infected in the 1970s and 1980s when rates of hepatitis C were the highest. Specifically:
Q: Does liver disease affect men and women differently?
A: In some instances. For example:
Q: And what about different ethnic groups and liver disease?
A: To highlight a few facts:
Q: If there’s no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C, what efforts are being made to find more effective treatments?
A:For the sake of brevity, let’s respond by saying that, as one would expect, there’s ongoing research to find efficacious medications to combat hepatitis C. For patients with chronic hepatitis C, medications are often used in combination, including interferon, ribavirin, and the more recently FDA-approved boceprevir and telaprevir.
Q: What about other cutting edge developments in diagnosis and treatment of liver disease in general?
A: Two examples:
Q: To what extent do liver transplants offer a solution to those with liver failure?
A: Think of this topic in three different ways:
Q: Why, as mentioned earlier, are the cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease increasing? Why is it getting so much media attention?
A: Having type-2 diabetes or high cholesterol increases the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. But by far the biggest problem is obesity. More than one-third of Americans and approximately 12.5 million (17%) of children and adolescents are obese. As it becomes an emerging epidemic, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the third most common reason for liver transplants in the U.S.
Q: Can we hope that one day liver disease can be combated?
A: Many liver diseases are preventable with vaccines or reversible, and nearly all are less expensive to treat if detected early. This is why education and awareness provided by the American Liver Foundation, as well as the Foundation’s research projects, are so important. Getting tested can help people learn if they are infected and shifting them into life-saving care and treatment.
If you wish to fully grasp the “big picture about different liver diseases, then trends and statistics only tell part of the story. To understand how different people are affected by various forms of liver disease, we invite you to view The Faces of ALF (American Liver Foundation). You’ll also find out why the American Liver Foundation means so much to them.
Faces of ALF was compiled in an effort to honor those individuals currently living with liver disease and to remember those individuals who have lost their battles. As the name implies, the video showcases the various 'faces' of liver disease to show that the over 100 types of liver disease can affect a variety of people in a variety of ways. The video also provides a brief education on liver disease and its effects.
The video premiered at the American Liver Foundation’s New England Division's Flavors of Boston event on Tuesday, September 13, 2011. It was conceived, filmed and produced by the American Liver Foundation New England Division and Nabil Aidoud of fiVi.com.
© Copyright 2016 American Liver Foundation. All Rights Reserved. The American Liver Foundation is included in CharityWatch’s 2016 list of Top-Rated Charities and is a Member of the World Hepatitis Alliance.