Excessive Alcohol Consumption During Pandemic Means More Liver Disease To Come | Health Info


(Health day)

FRIDAY, December 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) – It is clear that COVID-19 has killed hundreds of thousands of people in the United States. Less clear is its impact on other health problems, which will be felt in the years to come.

Liver disease is expected to be one of these, with 8,000 more deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, 18,700 cases of liver failure and 1,000 cases of liver cancer by 2040 .

The reason is the increase in sales and consumption of alcohol at the start of the pandemic, according to a new study.

“Our results underscore the need for individuals and policy makers to make informed decisions to mitigate the impact of high-risk alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States,” said the author Principal Jagpreet Chhatwal in a press release from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. He is associate director of the Institute for Technology Assessment at the hospital.

A national survey of American adults found that binge drinking, such as heavy drinking, increased by 21% at the start of the pandemic.

Researchers predicted that a one-year increase in alcohol consumption would also lead, in the shorter term, to 100 more deaths and 2,800 more cases of liver failure by 2023. And a sustained increase in consumption alcohol for more than a year could result in 19% to 35% higher death rates.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had many unintended consequences with unknown long-term impact. Our modeling study provides a framework to quantify the long-term impact of increased alcohol consumption associated with COVID- 19 and initiate conversations for potential interventions, ”said co-author Turgay Ayer, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The results were published this month in Hepatology.

The US Administration of Addiction and Mental Health Services has a helpline to help people with substance abuse disorders.

SOURCE: Massachusetts General Hospital, press release, December 17, 2021

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