Seven out of every 10 adults in Sunderland are putting themselves at risk of liver disease by being overweight, health bosses have warned.
The British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign is visiting the city later this month and will be providing free liver checks in a branded mobile screening unit.
The awareness drive aims to reach the one in five people in the UK who may have the early stages of liver disease, but are unaware of it.
Andrew Langford Chief Executive, British Liver Trust said, “Liver disease and cancer of the liver affect millions of people in the UK – and the numbers diagnosed have been increasing at an alarming rate.
“It is a silent killer and people often don’t realise they have a problem until it is too late. Although the liver is remarkably resilient, if left until you see signs it is often irreversible.
“I would urge everyone to take our online screener on our website to see if they are at risk and if you are in the area please pop down to our mobile screening unit”
Harriet Mitchison, consultant at Sunderland Royal Hospital, said: “At the moment three quarters of people newly diagnosed with liver disease already have cirrhosis of the liver at the time of diagnosis.
“By this time for many it is too late. We are delighted to be supporting the British Liver Trust with this campaign to raise awareness and alert people to the risk factors.
“Early diagnosis and awareness really can save lives.”
Liver disease is largely preventable.
More than 90% is due to three main risk factors: obesity, alcohol and viral hepatitis.
The trust’s campaign is calling on people who are overweight to drink within recommended limits and have three consecutive days off alcohol every week, cut down on sugar, carbohydrates and fat and take more exercise as well as know the risk factors for viral hepatitis and get tested or vaccinated if at risk.
The roadshow, which will be at Sunderland University’s City Campus, in Chester Road, on Monday, June 19, between 10am and 4pm, comprises a mobile unit where people can take a free online screening test and find out if they are at risk.
There will be advice on how to keep your liver healthy from healthcare professionals who will be on hand to provide advice on diet, exercise and healthy living.