Nearly 60 people have been tested for liver damage by alcohol service Forward Leeds in the past week, as part of its new #HealthyLiversLeeds campaign.
Forward Leeds, the alcohol and drug service for the region, has started using its new Fibroscan machines for free, non-invasive liver health testing.
The potentially life-saving machines have been used in Armley, Seacroft and Leeds city centre. They use ultrasound technology to identify the damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
Anne-Marie McMullan, the area manager for Forward Leeds, said: “Alcohol-related liver disease doesn’t usually have any symptoms until your liver has been severely damaged.
“The first signs your liver is harmed can be when it’s too late.”
This comes after data published by the Office for National Statistics found there had been 800 alcohol-related deaths in Yorkshire in 2020 – higher than the national average.
The number of alcohol-related deaths in Yorkshire has risen steadily over the past decade – with the figure more than doubling since 2001.
In the past year, 1,620 people in Leeds were admitted to hospital for liver disease – the second-highest rate in England.
Dr Kathryn Scott, chief executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “More than 1,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed in Yorkshire each year are alcohol-related.
“We want to reduce the number of deaths from cancer in Yorkshire by ensuring more people are aware of the ways they can reduce their risk and live long, healthy lives.”