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Tuesday 6th December 2016
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Children risk liver disease

24th November 2008

The British Liver Trust has said "excessive" alcohol consumption by children and teenagers could cause a "time bomb" of future health difficulties.

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The trust said that it thinks the levels of alcohol consumed by children is increasing, which puts them in danger of liver cancer and liver disease as they get older.

The most recent figures provided by the Office of National Statistics showed that 49 people aged 20-29 died in 2006 from liver failure caused by alcohol.

The data revealed an increase of 40% more deaths from liver disease in the 25-29 age group in 2006, than in 2005.

Doctors have warned they are seeing more people in their 20s who have cirrhosis of the liver because of prolonged alcohol consumption.

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."

Imogen Shillito, the British Liver Trust's director of information and education, said they were concerned about children drinking: "The burden on their developing bodies is even greater."

"It means we are storing up a ticking time bomb for the future. As they grow up in their 20s and 30s they could be putting themselves at risk of really serious liver disease and liver cancer."

 

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