A local road show raising awareness of chronic liver disease (CLD) in Brent, Ealing and Harrow found the latter was one of the London boroughs that had the highest prevalence of risk factors for chronic liver disease in the capital.
The three risk factors associated with CLD are viral hepatitis, alcohol and obesity.
Data from the road show was fed into a national study involving more than 2,600 participants in collaboration with the British Liver Trust.
Dr Laith Al-Rubaiy, a liver specialist at St Mark’s Hospital, said: “It is worrying but people can reverse liver damage if it is caught early enough and they adopt healthier lifestyles.
“There has been 400% rise in the liver-related deaths in the past 50 years in the UK and the problem is that areas of high deprivation often go hand-in-hand with poor diet and obesity which contribute to CLD. The study highlights the need for greater awareness and education in our communities.”
CLD can progress to cirrhosis with an increased risk of developing liver cancer and liver failure.
Dr Al-Rubaiy added: “We are hoping to raise public awareness of the importance of liver health and to address the risk factors for liver disease, especially excess alcohol and obesity.