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'Obesity causing liver disease'

'Obesity causing liver disease'
4th January 2008

Obesity has overtaken alcohol and viral infections as the main cause of liver disease, according to new research.

The study, conducted by scientists at King's College hospital, has revealed that for some obese people the damage is so severe they require a liver transplant.

Dr Varuna Aluvihare, a consultant hepatologist at the facility, told the BBC that obesity had also become the commonest cause of liver disease in Europe and North America.

"If we extrapolate from the US experience its quite likely unless we change things soon in the next 20 or 30 years obesity will be the commonest cause of cirrhosis - that's irreversible scarring, and may be the commonest cause of indication for transplantation," he continued.

Being overweight also carries a number of other health risks including diabetes, cancer, arthritis and heart disease.

Meanwhile, it was recently reported that a potential cure for cirrhosis of the liver has been discovered by US scientists.

The researchers claim to be able to reverse the excessive tissue scarring that causes damage in patients.

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