Liver disease

Deaths from liver disease are increasing in England. This is in contrast to other major causes of death which have been declining, and in contrast to most other European countries where liver disease deaths are falling.

Liver disease is a major cause of premature mortality. Almost two-thirds (64%) of deaths in England from chronic liver disease are people aged between 35 and 64 years. It is a disease of inequality, with wide variation in death rates between local authorities in England, and higher death rates in deprived compared to more affluent areas. Death rates are higher among men compared to women.

Most liver disease is preventable. Over 90% of deaths are due to three risk factors which are amenable to public health intervention: alcohol, viral hepatitis and obesity.

Public Health England publishes Liver Disease Profiles which contain indicators for upper and lower tier local authorities in England on mortality, hospitalisation and risk factors.

Key findings for the Lancashire-14 area

  • Between 2014 and 2016, there were 1,096 premature deaths (aged under-75) from liver disease: 693 (63%) males and 403 (37%) females.
  • The premature mortality rates for Blackpool (44.7), Blackburn with Darwen (39.1), and Lancashire-12 (24.4) were statistically significantly higher than the England average (18.3).
  • The Lancashire-12 district level rate ranged from 15.4 in Ribble Valley to 34.2 in Burnley.
  • The Lancashire-12 rate for males is significantly above its female rate.
  • Although the latest all-person under-75 mortality rate for Lancashire-12 represented a decrease on the previous figures (2013-15), it still represents one of the highest levels recorded by the area.
  • Just under half (48%, 375) of under-75 liver disease deaths from Lancashire-12, were due to alcohol-related liver disease.
  • In 2014/15 there were 2,156 hospital admissions due to liver disease.
  • The hospital admission rate for Blackpool (223.6), Blackburn with Darwen (186.9), and Lancashire-12 (130.2) were statistically significantly higher than the average for England (119.2).

(Note: all rates are age standardised per 100,000 of the population)

Further data

Hospital admissions due to liver disease (XLSX 331 KB)

Under 75 mortality from liver disease (XLSX 32 KB)

Page updated November 2017