Alcohol-related liver disease soared during pandemic

Sunday, May 21, 2023 - 14:32 in Health & Medicine

During the pandemic, deaths from alcohol-associated liver disease for American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) populations was six times higher than that of white people, according to a study by Massachusetts General Hospital. The study was published in JAMA Health Forum. “Even before the pandemic we saw a steady increase in alcohol consumption in this country and continue to experience high levels of alcohol-associated liver disease exacerbated by COVID-19,” said senior author Jagpreet Chhatwal, associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Institute for Technology Assessment at MGH. “Our examination of all racial or ethnic groups showed that none are more vulnerable than American Indian and Alaska Native.” Chhatwal also pointed out that alcohol consumption hasn’t shown any signs of decline even as the pandemic has receded. “It’s no coincidence that in 2021, life expectancy in this country dropped to its lowest level since 1996, with ALD [alcohol-associated liver disease] being...

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