British Columbia needs more resources dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of liver disease if it is to head off a brewing public health crisis, says one of the province’s leading liver specialists.Dr. Eric Yoshida, head of the department of gastroenterology at the University of B.C. and an adviser to the Canadian Liver Foundation, said B.C. is already facing high personal and financial costs associated with liver diseases such as hepatitis B and C, cirrhosis and liver cancer.
“It’s a major problem,” said Yoshida Tuesday, the same day a report from the Canadian Liver Foundation warned liver disease is on the rise.
Deaths from liver disease increased by 30 per cent nationally in just eight years between 2000 and 2007. the report states, yet there is very little public awareness of the problem and no national strategy to address prevention and treatment.