Nearly 4.5 million Americans live with liver disease, and annually, 2 million people die of liver disease throughout the world, many due to complications from cirrhosis.

Cirrhosis is a condition characterized by scar tissue that overtakes healthy liver tissue, which can result in liver failure or, in severe cases, liver cancer.

Rates of liver disease and cirrhosis vary throughout states. The three states with the highest rates of liver disease–related deaths were in the Midwest and West, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New Mexico had the highest rate of liver disease–related deaths at 40.8 per every 100,000 deaths. South Dakota followed with a rate of 37.3 deaths per every 100,000 deaths. Wyoming had the third highest death rate at 26.7 deaths per every 100,000 deaths.

The three states with the lowest number of liver disease–related deaths were in the Northeast—New Jersey (9.4 deaths per every 100,000 deaths), Maryland (9.3) and New York (8.2).

A 2019 analysis published in The American Journal of Medicine found that areas with lower household incomes and regions with greater racial diversity had the highest rates of death from liver disease.

Barriers to health care services also likely contribute to differences in death rates, according to a 2021 study published in Hepatology Communications. The researchers behind that study emphasized the need for policy leaders to address health disparities to aid in reducing liver disease mortality.

To learn more, click through our #Liver Disease and #Cirrhosis tags, or read “Alcohol-Related Cirrhosis Deaths See Steep Rise” or “Liver Cirrhosis Caused by Hepatitis C is Reversible.”