Press Release: 9 in 10 people with abnormal liver tests are not being adequately followed up.

[Somerset UK, 12 June 2023] Chronic liver disease continues to increase in prevalence in the UK and around the world, yet cases remain severely underdiagnosed. Now new research reveals that up to 90 percent of patients who have persistently abnormal liver chemistry are not being adequately followed up, leading to a high likelihood of people developing serious disease and of missed opportunities for treatment.

‘’Identifying patients with early liver disease is very challenging,” says one of the study’s authors Dr Al Muthana Mohamed, a gastroenterologist at the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. “Most patients live everyday life with no symptoms until the late stage of their liver disease.”

This latest research, which is being presented at the EASL Congress 2023, analysed the health data of 560,000 people in Somerset, UK. By using an innovative case-finding tool called hepatoSIGHT, which can pinpoint previously hidden cases of liver disease, the research team was able to identify nearly 11,000 people aged between 30 and 75 who exhibited persistently elevated liver markers.  

Of those 11,000 people identified as having abnormal liver functions, only 11% of males and 16% of females were followed up with further investigation for underlying causes of liver disease. That means nearly 9,000 individuals, who could have benefited from more thorough tests and specialist advice, did not receive healthcare that followed the recommended guidance.

Liver disease costs the NHS £6 billion every year, with most patients being diagnosed late, increasing the already large burden on the health system. Therefore, it is crucial to introduce new measures to improve patient care as well as alleviate the pressures on the NHS. Medical technology company Predictive Health Intelligence’s hepatoSIGHT can assist with the digital transformation of the NHS and enable healthcare professionals to identify and keep track of the 9 in 10 people who may need further treatment for underlying liver disease. 

The hope is that with this new tool, healthcare professionals will be able to intervene earlier and provide the best care, preventing severe disease developing. This could also enable the NHS to make better use of budgets and existing resources to best serve patients and stakeholders.

By using hepatoSIGHT, we can bring people to our service earlier and manage their condition to prevent advanced disease or cure them before their liver is too damaged to be treated” says Dr Al Muthana Mohamed.



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