Chronic liver disease: key points

  • There are a variety of risk factors and diseases that cause chronic liver disease (CLD). The three commonest risk factors for CLD are excessive alcohol consumption; obesity; and blood borne viruses, in particular Hepatitis B and C. In this publication Alcoholic Liver Disease is included as part of Chronic Liver Disease throughout.

  • There were approximately 16 CLD deaths per 100,000 population in Scotland in 2014, similar to the rate in 2013.

  • Between 1993 and 2003, there was a sharp increase in CLD mortality rates overall and in both men and women: for men, the mortality rate increased from 14 per 100,000 to 35 per 100,000 population and for women, from 8 per 100,000 to 16 per 100,000 population. Since 2003 then rates have decreased for both men and women.

  • In 2014, chronic liver disease mortality rates were 6 times higher in the most deprived decile (38 per 100,000 population) compared to the least deprived decile (6 per 100,000).

  • Between 1982/83 and 2014/15, there was an increase in CLD hospital stay rates overall and in both men and women: for men, the stay rate increased from 54 per 100,000 to 250 per 100,000 population and for women, from 40 per 100,000 to 130 per 100,000 population.

  • In 2014, chronic liver disease stay rates were 4.6 times higher in the most deprived decile (423 per 100,000 population) compared to the least deprived decile (92 per 100,000 population).

Section updates:

  • The last major update of this section was completed in December 2015.
  • The next major update is due to be carried out by end December 2016.