June 14, 2019
The rate of chronic liver disease in Queensland is rising, with experts warning the state has only dealt with the “tip of the iceberg” if more is not done to combat the debilitating condition.
Researchers from QIMR Berghofer medical research institute looked at every patient admitted to hospital in Queensland with chronic liver disease over a nine year period from 2008 to 2016.
Over that time, there was a 62 per cent increase in the number of patients being treated for the chronic liver condition cirrhosis at Queensland hospitals, from 2701 admissions in 2008 to 4367 in 2016.
“Also patients in the early stages of cirrhosis don’t have any symptoms, so they may not even know they have it.”
The lead researcher, Princess Alexandra Hospital hepatologist Elizabeth Powell, said the study found excessive alcohol consumption accounted for 55 per cent of all the cases of cirrhosis.
“Just as we’re seeing an epidemic of obesity and type-2 diabetes, fatty liver is the liver complication of the metabolic syndrome, so it’s something the needs to be recognised and looked for,” she said.
The overall deaths from cirrhosis-related admissions to hospitals was 9.7 per cent for men and 9.3 per cent for women.
The study results have been published in the journal EClinical Medicine.
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The report, Impossible to escape: The need for stronger restrictions on the placement of alcohol marketing in Australia released by the Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA (PHAIWA) at Curtin University, found almost two-thirds of complaints made to the Alcohol Advertising Review Board (AARB) over the past seven years had raised concerns about the placement of alcohol marketing in Australia.
The report found that 760 of the total 1126 complaints were about where alcohol marketing was placed in the community. Of the 760 placement-related complaints, almost 40% raised concerns that the advertisements were placed where young people were likely to be exposed or with content that would appeal to them. The report highlights the need for governments to introduce stronger restrictions to better protect children and young people from exposure to alcohol marketing.
The full report is available on the AARB website
Dangerous underage binge drinking is taking an increasing toll on Queensland's young people, with an average of almost 20 a week ending up in the state's hospitals. Queensland Health data shows in 2018, 975 underage drinkers ended up in Queensland emergency departments (EDs), up from 762 in 2014. "More than 200 intoxicated teens presented to Brisbane EDs, more than 280 to Gold Coast EDs and almost 90 to Sunshine Coast EDs.The number of 12- to 17-year-olds showing up in Queensland emergency departments as a result of alcohol consumption has increased by 28 per cent since 2014.
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But there is a crucial difference between Getaway and other Brooklyn bars: Getaway is totally alcohol-free. “It’s 0% as much as humanly possible, so if you’re sober and it’s an issue for you, or you don’t even want the smell of alcohol around you, you’ll be safe,” Thonis says. But it still looks and feels like a bar - it only opens in the evenings, the lights are low and no one appears to be working on their screenplay.
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