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New test for hidden alcohol harm could prevent early deaths

Deaths from liver disease buck the trend.

With an estimated one-in-five adults drinking above recommended levels it is no surpise that liver disease is on the increase.

Not feeling any side effects from drinking does not mean that you are not risking chronic ill-health or lasting liver damage from alcohol-related liver disease. It is a sad fact that liver damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption is often only noticed at a late stage as the liver starts to fail.

A new test is being developed that might give help identify potential problems. The ‘traffic-light test’ (actually a combination of four tests) can give an early colour-coded warning – green means damage is unlikely, amber means there is a 50:50 chance it is there, and red means the liver is most probably damaged and potentially irreversibly.

The test might make the difference for those who need an extra incentive to drink more sensibly.

In the meantime we would all do well to follow the Department of Health guidance that men should not regularly drink more than three to four units of alcohol a day and women should not regularly drink more than two to three units a day with a few alcohol free days each week.

About Paul Hooper, WCC (575 Articles)
Group Manager: Community Safety and Substance Misuse
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