Doctor from Portsmouth reveals study on liver screening

Emma Sunderland-Hansen, Kiera Baillie, fundraiser Debbie Webb and Rachel Hibbert. Picture: Keith Woodland

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RESEARCHERS have said introducing a screening procedure in hospitals could reduce the number of people with alcohol-related liver disease.

A study by a Portsmouth doctor found that identifying patients who are at greatest risk of alcohol-related harm at a point when they can be targeted for treatment could reduce the risk of more severe liver damage.

The findings were shared at the International Liver Congress in Barcelona.

Study author Dr Richard Aspinall, consultant hepatologist from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: ‘Many who die from cirrhosis due to alcohol-related harm have a history of recurrent hospital admissions meaning we are missing chances to offer treatment.

‘This study shows that screening for alcohol misuse among patients admitted to acute medical units is both achievable and can help inform targeted interventions.

‘By classifying these patients according to their risk of alcohol harm, we can ensure they received the appropriate treatments.’