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Liver disease in older people

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James FrithORCiD, Emerita Professor Julia Newton


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The proportion of older people with chronic liver disease is increasing, and it is therefore important that both geriatricians and hepatologists become more aware of the issues this group will face. The presentation of liver disease in older people may be non-specific, but older people often have signs of liver disease as they present later and have more severe disease. Investigations should be interpreted in an older person just as they would in a younger person as there are no age-associated changes. Liver biopsy is a safe procedure in older people. Evidence-based treatment options are few, with most evidence being extrapolated from trials involving younger people. On the whole, older people benefit just as much as the young, but there are several issues which should be considered when starting treatment in older people. Prognosis is worse in some, but not all, chronic liver diseases for older people, and as complications such as hepatocellular carcinoma are more common it is important to be vigilant for these. © 2009 Rila Publications Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Frith J, Newton J

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: CME Journal Geriatric Medicine

Year: 2009

Volume: 11

Issue: 3

Pages: 110-114

ISSN (print): 1475-1453

ISSN (electronic):