Health: Study finds alcohol consumption during pandemic linked to more liver disease and death

The researchers projected the rates of liver disease and associated deaths from increased alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boston [US]: The researchers projected the rates of liver disease and associated deaths from increased alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The research was published in the “Hepatology Journal”. A team led by investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital used data from a nationwide survey of American adults about their drinking habits that found that heavy drinking (such as binge drinking ) had increased by 21% during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scientists simulated alcohol consumption trajectories and liver disease trends among all American adults. They estimated that a year-long increase in alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic will result in 8,000 additional deaths from alcohol-related liver disease, 18,700 cases of liver failure and 1 000 cases of liver cancer by 2040. In the short term, changes in alcohol consumption due to COVID-19 are expected to result in 100 additional deaths and 2,800 additional cases of liver failure by 2023.

The researchers noted that a sustained increase in alcohol consumption for more than a year could cause an additional mortality of 19 to 35 percent.
“Our findings 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 lead author Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD, Associate Director, MGH Institute of Technology. Evaluation and Assistant Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School.

“While we have projected the expected impact of changes in alcohol consumption in society associated with the COVID-19 pandemic without any intervention, we hope that our research can help start the conversations needed at all levels of society. society about how we can respond to the many behavioral changes, coping mechanisms and choices that have short- and long-term implications for the health of individuals, families and communities in America,” added the lead author Jovan Julien, MS, data analyst at the MGH Institute for Technology Assessment and doctoral candidate at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“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 start conversations for potential interventions,” noted co-author Turgay Ayer, PhD, George Family Foundation Early Career Professor of Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Co-authors include Elliot B. Tapper, MD, Carolina Barbosa, PhD, and William Dowd, BA. (ANI)

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