James Frith, MB ChB, MRCP, Clinical Research Associate, Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing—Liver Theme and Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK.
Julia L. Newton PhD, FRCP, Professor, Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing—Liver Theme and Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK.
The prevalence of chronic liver disease is increasing in older people. The presentation of these diseases is often asymptomatic or nonspecific, so they easily go undiagnosed. Investigating the older person who has abnormal liver function is important in primary care, and the same vigilance should be applied to an older person as to a young person, even with mild abnormalities. Referral for specialist opinion in appropriate older people provides important diagnostic and prognostic information. Treatment options are similar for all age groups. Morbidity and age-adjusted mortality are often more severe in older people; therefore, early diagnosis and intervention are important.
Key words: chronic liver disease, aging, liver function tests.