Liver disease is a devastating condition that affects more than 29 million European citizens. European deaths from cirrhosis alone is in excess of 170,000 individuals each year. Liver disease is the 5th most common cause of death in individuals aged 45-65 and costs more than €15bn in total health costs and lost economic productivity. The three main causes of liver disease are alcoholic liver disease, non-alocholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and viral hepatitis are amenable to prevention and treatment providing an opportunity to reduce the burden of liver disease in Europe and saving lives. The three main types of liver disease are aloholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and viral hepatitis.
The liver undertakes a range of physiological functions and has the ability to regenerate following acute damage. However, prolonged and sustained damage results in liver failure and death unless a transplant donor organ is available. With so few donor organs available the only option for many patients is prolonged drug therapy and clinical management.