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MUMBAI (Reuters Life!) - Amitabh Bachchan, one of India's top actors, whose disciplined, teetotaling life is somewhat rare in Bollywood, has said his liver has been partially destroyed by cirrhosis, requiring constant medical attention.
The 67-year-old Bollywood star said the condition was caused through a blood transfusion following a near-fatal accident while shooting for a film in 1982.
"I was therefore technically, or shall we say in medical terminology, a patient by default. A patient that had developed cirrhosis of the liver -- a condition that is normally associated with that of an alcoholic," Bachchan wrote on his blog on Friday.
Cirrhosis impairs the liver's ability to control infections and process nutrients, hormones and drugs. It is also caused, as in Bachchan's case, by the hepatitis virus.
The damage to the liver was discovered eight years ago, he said, speaking about his ailment for the first time. The latest revelations were prompted by a recent visit to the doctor following an abnormal blood test.
Bachchan's post drew concerned reactions from hundreds of readers and fans, but the actor responded that the condition was just "5 per cent" of what ails him.
It "is a saga that never seems to end, for, what is more in store for me I cannot comprehend," he wrote on Saturday.
Bachchan, who has acted in more than 180 films, was voted the greatest star of the millennium in a BBC poll.
He has had a troubled medical history, starting with the accident in 1982 on the sets of the film 'Coolie'. He ruptured his spleen and was critically ill for several months.
A vegetarian, he had abdominal surgery in 2005, keeping him out of action for almost three months.
He was last seen in "Teen Patti" (Three Cards) in January, where his acted alongside British veteran Ben Kingsley.
Reporting by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; Editing by C.J. Kuncheria and Jerry Norton