Children and Teenagers at Risk from Liver Disease
YOUNG people are shoring up a real risk of severe liver damage from excessive driniking it has been reported today by the British Liver Trust. The latest figures show that 49 people died in their 20's from liver disease, a worrying trend as damage from alchohol usually takes decades to lead to terminal illness.
New figures show 49 people in their 20s died in 2006 from alcohol-related liver failure - the highest number on record.
The figures released by the Office of National Statistics also showed 40% more young people aged between 25 and 29 died from liver disease in 2006 than in the previous year.
Doctors and health campaigners fear these figures could rise over the coming years as children drink more.
Until recently, cirrhosis of the liver, a condition brought on by long-term alcohol abuse, mainly affected older men.
But now doctors are seeing it in men and women in their 20s brought on by excessive drinking.
The week that she passed away, she had liver disease, kidney failure, a hole in her stomach... they told us there was nothing else they could do
Louise Rhymes, on her daughter Stacey
Professor Ian Gilmore, of the Royal College of Physicians, said: "We are sadly seeing young people in their 20s coming in with jaundice, with swollen bellies because their liver won't process liquids.
"These people didn't make a conscious decision to kill themselves."
Louise Rhymes, who lost her 24-year-old daughter to long-term alcohol abuse earlier this year, said Stacey had been drinking heavily since her teens.
"By the time she was 18, she was drinking every night, probably five litres. She would drink until she'd got none left.
"The week that she passed away, she had liver disease, kidney failure, a hole in her stomach where the alcohol had rotted her stomach. They told us there was nothing else they could do."