Roughly one quarter of Japanese who had comprehensive medical checkups last year were found to be suffering from some sort of liver trouble, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Japan Hospital Association.

The survey was based on data for 2.45 million Japanese, mostly in their 40s and 50s, who had physical exams at hospitals.

Only 16 percent of the people surveyed were categorized as having “nothing wrong,” while 24 percent were shown to have liver problems, the worst figure on record since the first survey in 1984.

Thirty percent of the people surveyed in 1984 were shown to have no health problems, a figure that has decreased each year of the survey as the percentage of people with liver problems and high cholesterol has increased.

In 1997, only 9 percent of those aged 60 and older and 12 percent of those in their 50s had no health problems. Every generation showed a 9 to 14 percentage point drop from 1984 in the number of healthy people.

“There has been a noticeable increase in people with liver problems and high cholesterol. Western-style eating habits, a lack of vegetables in the diet and increased alcohol intake is responsible for people’s deteriorating health,” said Norio Sasamori, head of a Tokyo physical examination center in charge of collecting the data.

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