‘Model Of Despair’ In Young People After Great Recession Blamed For Ballooning Rates Of Cirrhosis, Liver Cancer
Rates from cirrhosis had been on the decline, but then took a sharp turn upward starting in 2009. "Dying from cirrhosis, you never wish this on anybody," said lead author Elliot Tapper.
The New York Times:
More Americans Are Dying Of Cirrhosis And Liver Cancer
Deaths from cirrhosis and liver cancer are rising dramatically in the United States. From 1999 to 2016, annual cirrhosis deaths increased by 65 percent, to 34,174, according to a study published in the journal BMJ. The largest increases were related to alcoholic cirrhosis among people ages 25 to 34 years old. (Bakalar, 7/18)
The Washington Post:
Alcohol-Related Liver Deaths Have Increased Sharply
Over the past decade, people ages 25 to 34 had the highest increase in cirrhosis deaths — an average of 10.5 percent per year — of the demographic groups examined, researchers reported. The study suggests that a new generation of Americans is being afflicted "by alcohol misuse and its complications,” said lead author Elliot Tapper, a liver specialist at the University of Michigan. Tapper said people are at risk of life-threatening cirrhosis if they drink several drinks a night or have multiple nights of binge drinking — more than four or five drinks per sitting — per week. Women tend to be less tolerant of alcohol and their livers more sensitive to damage. (Furby, 7/18)
Why Are More Young Adults Dying Of Alcohol-Related Liver Disease?
Dr. Elliot Tapper has treated a lot of patients, but this one stood out. "His whole body was yellow," Tapper remembers. "He could hardly move. It was difficult for him to breathe, and he wasn't eating anything." The patient was suffering from chronic liver disease. After years of alcohol use, his liver had stopped filtering his blood. Bilirubin, a yellowish waste compound, was building up in his body and changing his skin color. Disturbing to Tapper, the man was only in his mid-30s – much younger than most liver disease patients. (Chisholm, 7/18)