Dr. Zobair M. Younossi discusses his manuscript "Changes in the Prevalence of the Most Common Causes of Chronic Liver Diseases in the United States from 1988 to 2008."

The most common causes of chronic liver failure (where the liver fails over months to years) include:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Long term alcohol consumption
  • Cirrhosis
  • Hemochromatosis (an inherited disorder that causes the body to absorb and store too much iron)
  • Malnutrition


The causes of acute liver failure, when the liver fails rapidly, however, are often different. These include:
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdose.
  • Viruses including hepatitis A, B, and C (especially in children).
  • Reactions to certain prescription and herbal medications.
  • Ingestion of poisonous wild mushrooms.