Number of patients waiting for liver transplant triples

SINGAPORE - More patients here are waiting for a liver transplant, according to a report from The Straits Times.

In the report the Health Ministry said the waiting list has nearly tripled over the last five years from just nine in 2007 to 24 last year.

The number may seem low. But on average, about seven patients die each year waiting for a liver transplant over the same period, the report added.

Doctors being more aware of the effectiveness of liver transplants was cited as a reason for the growing waiting list.

Hepatitis B remains the No. 1 reason for patients who need a liver transplant, doctors told the national paper. There were also substantial increases in cases where patients suffered from fatty liver and liver cancer.

According to Professor Krishnakumar Madhavan, more cases of fatty livers, a condition with no symptoms are also being diagnosed now.

Additionally the Health Ministry stated yesterday that fatty liver is likely to become a 'main cause of chronic liver disease'.

tonyng@sph.com.sg

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