Our Love Your Liver campaign visited Dagenham in November, where we screened 42 visitors and caught the attention of both the BBC and ITV television news.
The event took place at Dagenham Library, and Hepatology Nurse Specialists from Queen’s Hospital Romford were on hand to offer expert advice. Queen’s Hospital also allowed BBC News access the day before to film an interview with Trust CEO Andrew Langford and Consultant Hepatologist Paul Kooner, with ITV following suit at the event itself.
Click here to read online coverage.
The area of Dagenham and Barking has been experiencing a year-on-year increase in the number of hospital admissions due to liver disease. In 2014/15, 231 individuals required admission, which is significantly more than the national average.
Local people and workers took part by completing the Trust’s online ‘At Risk’ screening questionnaire and those people who were found to actually be at risk of having poor liver health then had the opportunity to receive a free, non-invasive liver scan.
As well as the increase in hospital admissions, liver disease resulted in 89 premature deaths in Barking and Dagenham in 2013-2015, of which a third were due to alcohol related liver disease. Ten percent were due to non-alcohol related fatty liver disease or to hepatitis B or C related end-stage liver disease or cancer.
70% of the adult population in the area are overweight. Along with alcohol, obesity is one of the leading reasons for the current nationwide increase in liver disease.
In a London-wide survey, Barking and Dagenham had the highest rate of premature deaths from liver disease, per head of population, across all 32 areas of London surveyed. Sadly, most of these deaths could have been prevented with increased awareness and earlier diagnosis.