The past decade has seen a sharp increase in the number of transplanted livers going to people whose own organs have been damaged by alcohol misuse.

Figures released by health minister Ann Keen show the number of transplant cases involving damage caused by alcohol rose by 61 per cent from 94 in 1997-08 to 151 in 2007-08. Some 1,300 people suffering alcoholic liver disease have received new livers since 1997-08 – just under a fifth of all transplants. Liberal Democrat culture spokesman Don Foster, who obtained the figures from Ms Keen through a parliamentary question, blamed a "binge-drinking culture" for the rise. He called for action to increase the price of the cheapest forms of alcohol. "Britain's binge-drinking culture is causing long-term health problems for an ever-increasing number of people," he said.

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