Friday, April 19, is celebrated as World Liver Day for the first time

Friday, April 19, is celebrated as World Liver Day for the first time

Friday, April 19, is celebrated as World Liver Day for the first time and is being promoted by various organizations to highlight diseases such as viral hepatitis, fatty liver or cirrhosis, which, in the face of lack of awareness and implementation of appropriate strategies, and in some cases have become… A silent epidemic that increases year after year.

Thus, April 19 becomes a day to demand greater attention to all liver diseases. “Although the causes of different liver diseases are different – viral hepatitis, alcohol consumption, metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases or genetic diseases – they share a path of progression towards cirrhosis, which is the most advanced stage of the disease up to liver cancer,” says Dr. Manuel. Romero, President of the Spanish Association for the Study of the Liver (AEEH).

For its part, the National Federation for Patients and Liver Transplantation (Fneth) points out that “causes such as type 2 diabetes, associated with insulin resistance and hyperglycemia, prolonged or inappropriate use of certain medications and toxic substances, or autoimmune and liver diseases, can lead to exacerbate the problem.” Liver damage and leads to liver disease.”

However, obesity and excessive alcohol consumption are the two main challenges to liver health, which has raised alarm among health professionals due to their increase among the younger population and the inactivity of Spanish administrations.

Alcohol is the number one cause of cirrhosis and the need for a liver transplant. It alone, or in association with other origins, accounts for up to 55% of liver cancer cases, which means that it affects approximately more than 456,000 people in our country. For its part, obesity is a major risk factor for metabolic hepatic steatosis, known as fatty liver. Although it may seem like a simple disease, it may become the number one cause of cirrhosis in the world.

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Experts agree that part of the solution lies in close cooperation between all factors involved to achieve success in preventing and treating liver diseases, following the success achieved in other diseases, such as viral hepatitis, which today are managed better thanks to their knowledge. This is the case of hepatitis C.


Therefore, World Liver Day represents a good opportunity to reflect on the successes achieved in the field of liver health, as well as to highlight the great efforts and progress in Spain.

This is the case of hepatitis C virus, which has long been a public health burden. Thousands of people were infected with this chronic liver disease in Spain, and they needed an urgent solution in the face of a disease that was so deadly. But in the last ten years, Spain has made exceptional progress in eliminating this infection. A victory resulting from the sum of effective therapeutic innovation, improved access to treatment and high standards in screening and diagnosing patients.

“Hepatitis C is a model in the history of medicine. There is nothing like it because this virus was discovered in the late 1980s. In 1989 it became the leading cause of liver disease in the West, the leading cause of cirrhosis, the leading cause of cirrhosis, the leading cause of hepatitis C.” bad”. “In these 35 years, we have been able to turn the situation around and are on the verge of eliminating a disease the likes of which is unparalleled in any other field of medicine,” says Dr. Romero.

The treatment reached Spain and provided very high cure rates for patients infected with hepatitis C. “Right now, we have treatments that are a dream come true. They are medications that are taken once a day, have no adverse effects and cure 100% of patients.” “, adds the President of AEEH.

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It can be highlighted that the treatment of hepatitis C has made it possible to reduce liver transplants by 84%, and therefore their multiple consequences for patients, which range “from organ rejection or infection to changing the quality of life due to changes in habits and continued use of medications,” notes from Alfnth.

The results of these efforts have not gone unnoticed. Today, Spain is among the leading countries in eliminating hepatitis C in the world, at rates that exceeded expectations and brought the country closer to reaching the goal of eliminating it by 2030, according to the World Health Organization.

“Thanks to the cooperation and commitment of public administrations, healthcare professionals, patient associations and industry, today we have been able to treat more than 150,000 people. These data indicate that we can become the second country in the world to achieve the elimination of hepatitis C.” “Which will be a great success,” confirms Marisa Alvarez, Gilead's chief medical officer in Spain.

For this reason, it is important to continue screening programs. Only in this way will it be possible to reach vulnerable or “missing” populations within the healthcare system, of whom it is estimated that around 22,500 are living with active, undiagnosed infection. For this reason, cooperation between the public and private sectors is essential. “We continue to work hard to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030, as set by the WHO target. To this end, we continue to collaborate with health professionals, scientific societies, authorities and patient organizations to further improve diagnosis and linkage to health. System, management and care,” adds Marisa Alvarez. Patients infected with viral hepatitis.

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As Romero points out, in the past 35 years “we have turned the tide and are on the verge of eliminating the disease. This has no precedent in any other field of medicine: neither in neuroscience nor in neuroscience.” In lung diseases, or in any other field, why? Because it is a chronic disease that we can treat, and so far we cannot treat the majority,” he said, referring to other chronic liver diseases.

Another type of hepatitis, delta hepatitis virus, is also a recent breakthrough in the broad field of liver disease. “It has taken more than 40 years to achieve an effective treatment so that we can offer this type of hepatitis to patients,” concludes Marisa Alvarez.

VHD is the most serious type of viral hepatitis, a life-threatening disease that only affects people infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is estimated to affect 5% of people infected with hepatitis B (HBV), with a global prevalence of more than 12 million people and approximately 5,000 to 7,000 in Spain.

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