Americans Dying of Liver Disease, Doctors Blaming Alcohol Drinking

Drug and alcohol use could be factors in liver cancer deaths

More Americans Are Dying From Liver Cancer, Study Says

A state-by-state analysis showed cirrhosis mortality is improving only in Maryland.

Cirrhosis is a chronic liver disease that can involve the loss of liver cells or permanent scarring of the organ. "Liver cancer screening requires a simple-to-complete blood test, called alpha fetoprotein, and an abdominal ultrasound". Bilirubin, a yellowish waste compound, was building up in his body and changing his skin color.

Tapper, a liver specialist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, tried to get the patient to stop drinking.

The problem, Tapper said, is that "we do not yet have a highly effective treatment for alcohol addiction". Since then, the young man's condition has continued to deteriorate and Tapper is not optimistic about his chances of survival. "Anything exceeding that can actually lead to end-stage liver disease". The study also found whites, Native Americans and Hispanic Americans are experiencing increased death rates for cirrhosis, along with people living in Kentucky, Arkansas and New Mexico.

The number of people who've died from liver cancer has increased between 2000 and 2016, as per new data by the CDC.

Researchers studied the trends in liver deaths due to cirrhosis by examining death certificates compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research project. Add to that the spate of hepatitis C virus infections among baby boomers. The number of 25- to 34-year-olds who died annually from alcohol-related liver disease almost tripled between 1999 and 2016, from 259 in 1999 to 767 in 2016, an average annual increase of around 10 percent. "But more research is needed", Tapper says. The rise in death rates was driven predominantly by alcohol-induced disease, the report said. The reason for the spike is unclear, but Dr. Neehar Parikh, a liver specialist at the University of Michigan Medical School and Tapper's co-author, has a theory.

"We suspect that there is a connection between increased alcohol use and unemployment associated with the global financial crisis".

The increase among younger Americans is particularly troubling, because it kills people in the prime of their life.

The study is the latest to confirm that liver-related illnesses are becoming increasingly prevalent.

Additionally, the District of Columbia was found to have the highest death rate due to liver cancer in the United States, followed by Louisiana, Hawaii, Mississippi and New Mexico. And a recent study of veterans found that cirrhosis cases almost doubled between 2001 and 2013. "And those persons who have been diagnosed with cirrhosis must not only avoid alcohol and other substances that can harm the liver but should also undergo regular screening for liver cancer with scans as cirrhosis is the most important risk factor for liver cancer". "It fits with what we see in practice".

The most shocking spike, researchers said, was the 10.5-percent rise in cirrhosis deaths among people 25 to 34.

Cirrhosis caused a total of 460,760 deaths during the seven-year study period; about one-third were attributed to hepatocellular carcinoma, a common type of liver cancer that is often caused by cirrhosis, researchers found. A study? found that in the USA, about 71 percent of all liver cancer diagnoses can be attributable to preventable risk factors, such as cigarette smoking and obesity. Alcohol consumption and obesity could interact to worsen liver disease, Tapper says.

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