Diageo, the owner of brands including Guinness and Smirnoff, has sponsored a new report on the perils of alcohol-related liver disease.

The latest edition of the British Liver Trust publication Alcohol & Liver Disease was paid for by the drinks giant with the aid of an educational grant, as the company bids to up its corporate social responsibility credentials.

“While we know that most people do drink responsibly, there is an urgent need to provide people with information on how alcohol, if abused, can affect their long-term health,” said Diageo Great Britain managing director Benet Slay.

“People need to understand that drinking to excess can have extremely serious consequences.”

Liver disease is the fifth-largest killer in the UK and the illness in the top five that is on the increase.

British Liver Trust chief executive Alison Rogers commented: “Given alcohol’s role in causing some 50% of liver disease, we are really pleased that a major alcohol producer is helping the Trust to produce information materials that play a role in informing people about sensible drinking.”

She added: “We want everyone to be aware of how much alcohol is too much and what can happen to the liver as a result of alcohol.”