Fatty liver kills close to 1,000 Malaysians yearly.

PREVENTION: Disease due to sedentary lifestyle.

SELAYANG: CLOSE to a thousand Malaysians die of liver diseases yearly and more are contracting fatty liver disease.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the deaths were avoidable with awareness on prevention and early detection.

“Fatty liver disease is seeing a rise along with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension,” he said at the launch of the Selayang Hospital’s ‘Healthy liver Campaign’ which is supported by Maybank Foundation.

“This is a result of the public’s sedentary lifestyle,” he said, adding that prevalent liver diseases in the country were fatty liver, liver cancer, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and alcoholic liver disease.

Dr Subramaniam stressed that educating the public on prevention was better than trying to cure diseases and to treat organ failures that come with it.

“If detected at the early stage, it can be treated before reaching a critical level where treatment becomes more complex, longer and expensive.”

He said to date, 63 liver transplants had been done successfully in the country and there were 98 on the waiting list.

“The main deterrent to conducting liver transplants was the lack of donors,” he said, adding that there was a rising trend of patients needing organ transplants.

Dr Subramaniam said most of the liver pledged to be donated could not be harvested as donors had contracted a host of diseases including fatty liver.

He said the public’s misconception that liver disease was suffered only by those who consume alcohol or misuse drugs must change.

by Elvina Fernandez and Koi Kye Lee.

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