North East Top of Liver Disease Table; More Hospital Admissions for Illness in Region Than Any Other Part of Country

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Byline: Helen Rae Health Reporter? 0191 201 6269 ? helen.rae@ncjmedia.co.uk

MORE people are admitted to hospital because of liver disease in the North East than any other part of the country, new figures have revealed.

Information released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) yesterday showed the region has had the highest rates of hospital admissions for all liver disease last year.

As many as 2,400 people were admitted with the illness in the area, equating to 92.5 per 100,000 of the population.

Gateshead Primary Care Trust (PCT) had the worst rates of liver disease hospital admissions at 150.6 per 100,000 of the population.

This was closely followed by Sunderland Teaching PCT at 111.1 and Newcastle PCT at 110.4 per 100,000 people.

Last night, health experts blamed the significant number of hospital admissions on the region's high rates of obesity levels and alcohol-related problems.

Dr Steven Masson, a consultant from the liver transplant unit at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: "It does not surprise me the high number of hospital admissions in the region due to liver disease.

"The two things you see that upset the liver is too much alcohol and obesity. We know both these are major health issues in the North East.

"The high rates of hospital admissions is very concerning as liver disease is now the fifth biggest killer and the only one in the top five getting worse. Unfortunately, what we are seeing is only going to get worse, and this continues to have a huge impact on NHS resources and funds."

Nationally, one in 11 hospital admissions for liver disease in England resulted in a hospital death last year. …