Raising awareness of underestimated liver diseases
The liver is one of the most important organs in the human body. It breaks down toxins, forms part of our natural defences and plays a key role in metabolism. But despite the importance of the liver, liver diseases are only rarely discussed in the public sphere, and those affected and their families often lack active support.
“We want to change that!”
- According to estimates, up to 3 million people in Switzerland live with liver disease. Of these, only 10–15 per cent have been diagnosed and are receiving medical treatment.
- The most common liver diseases are alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver, viral liver inflammations (hepatitis) and iron storage diseases (hemochromatosis). Fatty liver in particular is on the rise as a typical disease of civilization. Experts believe that the peak of this development is still a long way off.
- Worldwide, the viral infections hepatitis B and C are among the most common causes of liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver-related mortality.
- One of Swiss HePa’s main areas of focus is the fight against rare but increasing liver diseases, such as autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis.