The liver is a very large organ inside the abdomen that has many regulatory and storage functions. It secretes bile, a fluid which helps the digestion of fats and removes toxins (harmful substances) such as alcohol from the blood. Cirrhosis of the liver is a condition in which the functioning liver tissue is gradually dying (necrosis) and being replaced by fibrous (connective) tissue. As it progresses liver function gradually deteriorates leading to death. It is especially common among malnourished chronic alcoholics (see Alcohol use disorders Map 443). It can be caused by Hepatitis B Map 387, and Hepatitis C Map 388.
In 2002 Cirrhosis caused 2.4% of deaths in adults aged 15 to 59 years.
Cirrhosis caused 1.4% of all deaths worldwide in 2002, an average of 126 deaths per million people per year.