The liver is a vital organ that performs a wide variety of critical life sustaining functions. Your liver processes everything you eat, drink, breathe, and absorb through your skin. It helps break food down into essential nutrients for energy and filters out harmful substances from your blood.
Unfortunately, 30 million Americans are personally affected by liver disease. Nearly 100 liver diseases affect men, women, and children of every age and ethnicity from every social and economic background.
Statistics on the prevalence of liver disease are startling–
- Up to 5.4 million Americans have chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection. About 65% and 75% of the infected populations are unaware that they are infected with HBV and HCV, respectively.
- Up to 25% of Americans may have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition that can cause life-threatening liver damage.
- Primary liver cancer is one of the few cancers on the rise in the United States.
- Chronic liver disease/cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States. Liver disease is the 4th leading cause of death in the United States between the ages of 45 and 54 years.
Many liver diseases are preventable or reversible and nearly all are less expensive to treat if detected early. This is why education and awareness, provided by the American Liver Foundation®, are so important.
Because eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly help the liver to work well, the Liver Life Challenge endurance training program helps participants to improve their personal liver health. At the same time, the fundraising efforts of Liver Life Challenge team members enable the American Liver Foundation to provide life-saving research, education, support, and advocacy to those in need.