Alcohol consumption

Even a short-term increase in consumption will lead to 8,000 more deaths from liver disease by 2040, researchers say – ScienceDaily

Alcohol sales and consumption increased early in the COVID-19 pandemic, but the effect of increased consumption on population health is not fully understood. In new research published in Hepatologya team led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) predicted rates of liver disease and associated deaths from increased alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using data from a national survey of American adults on their drinking habits that found heavy drinking (like binge drinking) increased by 21% during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19, scientists simulated 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 policymakers to make informed decisions to mitigate the impact of high-risk alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States,” says lead author Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD, Associate Director of 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,” adds the author. principal Jovan Julien, MS, data analyst at the MGH Institute for Technology Assessment and PhD student 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,” notes 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.

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Materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.