Transplants for alcohol-related liver inflammation surge during pandemic

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Registrations for the national organ transplant waiting list related to alcoholic hepatitis as well as the number of deceased donor liver transplants for the inflammatory liver condition rose significantly during the pandemic, Michigan Medicine researchers found.

Both measures exceeded their predicted volume by more than 50 percent—and both were associated with increasing .

"While we cannot confirm causality, this study provides evidence for an alarming increase in alcoholic hepatitis associated with known increases in alcohol misuse during COVID-19," said Maia S. Anderson, M.D., a general surgery resident at Michigan Medicine and the first author of the study. "And it highlights the need for public health interventions around ."

Alcoholic hepatitis is typically caused by heavy alcohol consumption on a regular basis and can lead to permanent scar tissue in the liver and other long-term damage, like liver failure, if left untreated.

The findings were published in JAMA Network Open.


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More information: Maia S. Anderson et al, Association of COVID-19 With New Waiting List Registrations and Liver Transplantation for Alcoholic Hepatitis in the United States, JAMA Network Open (2021). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.31132
Journal information: JAMA Network Open

Citation: Transplants for alcohol-related liver inflammation surge during pandemic (2021, October 26) retrieved 2 December 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-10-transplants-alcohol-related-liver-inflammation-surge.html
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