5033.0 Liver Disease Myth and Reality: Implications for Policy and Prevention

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 8:30 AM
There are more than 100 different liver diseases, and an estimated 30 million people in the US have liver disease. Causes include genetic factors, viral infections, poor nutrition, and unhealthy lifestyle choices. Lack of information and awareness of liver disease and its risk factors lead to preventable incidence and the proliferation of liver disease myths. Because liver disease is often asymptomatic, many people are unaware of their disease status. After diagnosis, they may have difficulty getting treatment because of limited information, inadequate availability of and accessibility to clinical care, discrimination, isolation and depression. Treatment delays adversely affect outcomes. Continued unhealthy lifestyle choices can lead to serious health complications, liver cancer, liver failure and even death. Broad reaching public health initiatives can increase general knowledge about liver disease and common risk factors. Health education initiatives can also describe disease prevention strategies and dispel misconceptions about liver disease, affected populations and disease impact. This session will discuss a public health approach to these issues that complicate prevention and treatment of liver disease, and discuss an effective approach to making quality information available to high-risk communities and the public at large.
Session Objectives: Increase awareness about liver disease and its impact in the US. Define the ongoing needs of individuals with liver disease. Understand the importance of community health education programs in raising awareness about liver disease and reducing liver disease incidence.
Obiageli Okwuka, DVM, MPH

8:30 AM
Liver Disease: Policy Impact and Need
Susan C. Robinson, MPA, Pamela Gleason, Indhira Blackwood, MPA, Emily Watson, MPH and Katherine Cline
8:45 AM
Dispelling Liver Disease Stigma
Susan C. Robinson, MPA, Indhira Blackwood, MPA and Emily Watson, MPH
9:00 AM
Preventing Liver Disease Incidence through Education
Phil Scarfo, Susan C. Robinson, MPA, JoAnn Thompson, Suzanna Masartis, Indhira Blackwood, MPA and Emily Watson, MPH
9:15 AM
Obesity and Other Risk Factors for Liver Disease
Susan C. Robinson, MPA, Suzanna Masartis, Indhira Blackwood, MPA and Emily Watson, MPH

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Community Health Planning and Policy Development
Endorsed by: Asian Pacific Islander Caucus for Public Health

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)