Liver disease deaths skyrocket among young adults

Henrietta Strickland
July 20, 2018

According to the data, cirrhosis deaths began increasing in 2009 and Tapper suggests a connection between "increased alcohol consumption and unemployment associated with the global financial crisis".

Liver cancer is much more prevalent in men than it is in women. Deaths from cirrhosis and liver cancer rose fastest in western and southern states.

A disturbing new study declares that a growing number of young Americans are drinking themselves to death.

From 2009 to 2016, the greatest increase in death rate from cirrhosis was among people 25 to 34, according to Dr. Elliot Tapper, an assistant professor at the University of MI and first author on the paper.

"The rapid rise in liver deaths underscores gaps in care and opportunities for prevention", said Parikh. Adults older than 75 have the most liver cancer deaths, and the death rate in that demographic increased from 29.8 to 40.2 per 100,000 people between 2000 and 2016.

The NCHS report doesn't explain why the seeing such pronounced increases in liver cancer deaths.

Asian and Pacific Islander adults - who had the highest liver cancer death rate in 2000 - were the only racial or ethnic group to experience a rate decrease during the study time period, dropping from 17.5 to 13.6 per 100,000 people.

The greatest increase in deaths from cirrhosis was seen among whites, Native Americans and Hispanics, the researchers said. For example, deaths in Kentucky rose almost seven percent, six percent in New Mexico and almost six percent in Arkansas.

According to Dr. David Bernstein, chief of hepatology at Northwell Health in Manhasset, N.Y., "This study highlights the silent epidemic of advanced liver disease in the United States, which largely remains unrecognized and unacknowledged by the collective medical leadership".

The report was published online July 18 in the BMJ.

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