Dr. Elliot Tapper researched liver disease among young adults after having treated a young man in his mid-30s whose liver condition was vastly more advanced than he had previously witnessed in younger patients. According to his research, fatal liver diseases have risen, particularly among young adults. To conduct his study, Dr. Tapper examined the number of deaths that were caused by cirrhosis and liver cancer, drawing data from 1999 to 2016 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
After analyzing the data, Dr. Tapper found that deaths which were related to liver illnesses experienced a substantial increase. Among young adults, the mortality rate rose at an incredibly fast rate. While liver illnesses can be caused by a vast range of things, such as obesity or hepatitis C, this particular spike in young adults was caused by alcohol consumption.
In fact, the number of individuals between the ages of 25 and 34 who died from alcohol-related liver disease almost tripled between the years 1999 to 2016. Furthermore, Dr. Tapper’s study found an overlap between the rise of binge drinking, which occurred between 2002 and 2012, and alcohol-related deaths, making the correlation undeniable.
Dr. Tapper’s study is not the first to highlight that liver-related diseases are an ever growing problem. According to a CDC report, the age-adjusted death rate for liver cancer increased by 43% since 2000. However, his study is the first to emphasize the effect it has had on young adults. The results are especially surprising since cirrhosis caused by alcohol consumption is generally something that doctors see in patients who have endured at least 30 years of heavy alcohol consumption. Unfortunately, the study revealed that individuals who are barely in their 20s and 30s are suffering from this disease.
What can be done to help these individuals? According to Dr. Tapper, those suffering from alcohol-related liver diseases can always turn this problem around if they make the commitment to stop drinking.
Read more about this study here.
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