Liver Disease Statistics

Alcohol-Related Liver Disease and Cirrhosis

  • According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 86.4 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime. 70.1 percent reported that they drank in the past year; 56.0 percent reported that they drank in the past month. 8
  • An estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States. 8
  • Alcohol dependence and/or abuse rates are higher in white males than in women, although women develop ALD more rapidly than men with the same quantity and duration of alcohol consumption. 9
  • Black men, although not in the highest incidence rates of alcoholism, tend to have a higher rate of cirrhosis. 9
  • Fatty liver is present in approximately 90 to 100 percent of heavy drinkers. 9
  • About 10 to 15 percent of patients with alcoholic hepatitis have fulminant disease with a high mortality rate. Another 5 to 10 percent develop a prolonged illness resulting in death. 9
  • Alcohol remains the second most common cause of liver cirrhosis after hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the United States, contributing to approximately 20% to 25% cases of liver cirrhosis. 10

Hepatitis B

  • Between 800,000 and 1.4 million people in the United States are living with chronic hepatitis B infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are approximately 43,000 new hepatitis B cases each year in the U.S. 3
  • About 70% of adults with hepatitis B develop symptoms. 3
  • Between 15%-25% of those with chronic hepatitis B develop serious liver diseases such as cancer, cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), or liver failure, all of which can be fatal. 3
  • In 2013, Asians/Pacific Islanders had the highest hepatitis B-related mortality rate of 2.6 deaths/100,000 population, compared to other race/ethnic groups. Persons aged 55–64 years had the highest age specific mortality rate, 1.8 deaths/100,000 population. 2

Hepatitis C

  • An estimated 2.7-3.9 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C. 1
  • There are approximately 17,000 new hepatitis C cases each year in the U.S. 1
  • As many as 75% of those with chronic HCV in the United States are unaware that they are infected. 1
  • More than 5 million people are living with chronic Hepatitis B or chronic Hepatitis C in the United States. 2
  • Of the three types of viral hepatitis (hepatitis A, B, and C), hepatitis C accounted for the greatest number of deaths and the highest mortality rate, at 5.0 deaths/100,000 population in 2014. 2
  • In 2014, the racial/ethnic group with the highest hepatitis C-related mortality rate was among American Indians/Alaska Natives. 2
  • Of all persons living with HCV infection, about 75% were born during 1945–1965. 1
  • Non-Hispanic Whites accounted for the greatest proportion (69.9%) of past or present hepatitis C cases. 2

Liver Cancer

  • Each year in the United States, about 21,000 men and 8,000 women get liver cancer, and about 16,000 men and 8,000 women die from the disease. 11
  • Among Asian/Pacific Islander women, liver cancer was the tenth most common cancer and the fifth most common cause of cancer death. 11
  • Among Asian/Pacific Islander men, liver cancer was the fourth most common cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death. 11
  • Among women, Hispanic women had the highest rates of getting liver cancer (7.5 per 100,000 women), followed by Asian/Pacific Islander women (6.8), American Indian/Alaska Native women (6.1), black women (5.3), and white women (3.9). 11
  • Among men, Asian/Pacific Islander men had the highest rates of getting liver cancer (19.1 per 100,000 men), followed by Hispanic† men (19.0), black men (17.0), American Indian/Alaska Native men (12.8), and white men (10.8). 11

Liver Transplants

  • In 2016, 7,841 liver transplants were performed. 7,496 were from deceased donors and 345 were from living donors. 7
  • To date, 147,842 liver transplants have been performed. 7
  • As of February 3rd, 2016, there are currently 14,380 patients waiting for liver transplants. 7

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / Non-Alcoholic Steato Hepatitis

  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and its subtype nonalcoholic steatohepatitis affect approximately 30% and 5%, respectively, of the US population. 4
  • About 100 million individuals in the United States are estimated to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. 4

Pediatric Liver Disease

  • Biliary atresia is a rare disease affecting 1 in 8,000 to 1 in 18,000 live births worldwide. About 10-20% of infants with biliary atresia have abnormalities in other organs, such as heart defects or issues with their spleen. 5
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), is the most common form of liver disease in children and has more than doubled over the past 20 years. 6
  1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2016). Hepatitis C Basic Information. Retrieved from
  2. CDC, Viral Hepatitis – Statistics & Surveillance. (2016) Surveillance for Viral Hepatitis – United States 2014. Retrieved from
  3. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2016). Hepatitis B Basic Information. Retrieved from
  4. Trust for America’s Health; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2016). Adult obesity in the United States. Retrieved from
  5. The Childhood Liver Disease Network. (2017). Biliary Atresia. Retrieved from
  6. Schwimmer JB, Deutsch R, Kahen T, Lavine JE, Stanley C, Behling C. Prevalence of fatty liver in children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2006;118:1388–1393. [PubMed]
  7. United Network of Organ Sharing. Web-based transplant National Data.
  8. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from
  9. John Hopkins Medicine. Gastroenterology and Hepatology. FAQs about Alcoholic Liver Disease. Retrieved from
  10. Becker U, Deis A, Sørensen TI, Grønbaek M, Borch-Johnsen K, Müller CF, et al. Prediction of risk of liver disease by alcohol intake, sex, and age: a prospective population study. Hepatology 1996; 23: 1025-1029.
  11. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Liver Cancer. Retrieved from

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been newly renamed metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease or MASLD.

Fatty liver disease has been newly renamed to steatotic liver disease.

Last updated on January 18th, 2024 at 09:34 am

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