Liver disease on the rise among youth, urban poor

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Liver disease on the rise among youth, urban poor BENGALURU: Rapid urbanization, coupled with a hectic lifestyle and genetic predisposition to fatty liver, puts Indians at greater risk than before to chronic liver disease, say city doctors.

While liver disease was widely associated with the aged and the inert, doctors say there has been a rising incidence of cases among the younger population.

Ahead of World Liver Day on April 19, Dr C Vikram Beliappa, consultant surgical gastroenterologist, said while there are no symptoms of the disease in its earlier stages, regular health check-ups are mandatory for detection.

“A large part of the rural population moves to cities for livelihood. From their active lifestyle, they get jobs in cities as delivery boys or cab drivers. People mostly assume only techies have a sedentary life, but paradoxically they almost always had a history of being that. On the other hand, the urban poor is most at risk, as they also leave behind their healthy eating habits and switch to junk food on the go,” he said.

Dr Dheeraj Karanth C, medical gastroenterologist, said liver disease can be cured if treated on time. But once it crosses the turnover limit, medicines will only be capable of delaying the transplant. “Healthy eating, regular exercise and check-ups are advised. For almost 1,000 registered patients in line for a transplant, there were only 70 cadaver donations last year and in 2016.”

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