Awareness on liver diseases is low, while the heart, brain and kidney are accorded top priority, said gastroenterologist, P. Karthikeyan, speaking on the sidelines of the Tiruchi branch of Association of Physicians of India meeting here on Sunday.

Elaborating on ‘Management of Liver disease in Hepatitis B', Dr. Karthikeyan advocated the need for Hepatitis B vaccination to be uniformly incorporated into the universal immunisation programme for preventing liver diseases and reducing chronic liver complaints.

Citing Taiwan as an example of successful immunisation against Hepatitis B, where incidence rates had dropped drastically after the vaccination for the disease was introduced universally, he noted that Hepatitis still constituted 15 percent of liver disease in India. In this context, screening camps were essential to sensitise people regarding vaccination, identify hepatitis and administer treatment. Active immunisation could also prevent foetal transmission of hepatitis B.

Alcohol-related liver disease and obesity related liver diseases (fatty liver) were the most common liver related complaints today, Dr. Karthikeyan told The Hindu. These diseases were precursors to more deadly developments like liver cancer and cirrhosis, he added.

Keywords: liver disease