Liver cirrhosis and liver cancerLiver cirrhosis occurs when healthy liver cells are damaged and replaced with hard scar tissue. As cirrhosis progresses, the liver begins to fail as it lacks healthy tissue. The most common causes of cirrhosis are chronic hepatitis and alcohol abuse. Although the death rate from liver cirrhosis in the U.S. has decreased since the 1970s, it has steadily increased again over the past decade. From 2015 to 2017, there were around 129,939 deaths from liver cirrhosis in the United States, with alcohol-related cirrhosis accounting for 65,089 of these deaths. The rate of alcohol-related cirrhosis deaths is highest among those aged 55 to 64 years, with around 19.4 deaths per 100,000 population.
Damage to the liver caused by cirrhosis, alcohol abuse, and hepatitis can also lead to liver cancer. Rates of liver cancer are more common among males than females and are higher among Hispanics than any other race or ethnicity. As of 2017, those diagnosed with liver cancer had a 20.2 percent chance of surviving 5 years after being diagnosed with the disease. The death rate from liver cancer has steadily increased since the year 1999, rising to a rate of 4.9 deaths per 100,000 population in 2017.