Alcohol consumption increases mortality

A survey including data provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed worrying trends in mortality from alcoholic cirrhosis, a product of accelerated liver damage.

The liver is an organ located in the upper right part of the abdominal cavity, below the diaphragm, above the stomach and intestines; among its various functions (more than 500 are attributed to it), it is essential for the metabolic activity of the body, regulating the various levels of chemicals that metabolize drugs, and secrete bile (a fluid substance produced by this organ that is stored in the gallbladder and is useful during digestion). It can fail due to different circumstances, which can lead to a buildup of toxins in the blood, which can trigger other processes that can affect brain function, kidneys (dark urine), bowels (yellow or light colored stools), chronic fatigue , nausea or vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), etc.

Liver in abdominal anatomy. /Ties van Brussel/tiesworks.

Excessive consumption of certain foods (junk food, sausages, candy or cookies that are high in fat or sugar), drinks (alcohol or energy drinks and sugary drinks), medications, and certain diseases can damage the liver. Therefore, we must take into account that it is an important organ for survival, so it is essential to take care of it through a healthy life: a balanced diet, less alcohol or other excessive activities, including physical activity.

Some diseases, such as hepatitis, chronic alcoholism, or drug abuse can lead to cirrhosis (the formation of lesions or scars in the liver that, over time, deteriorate and eventually limit liver function); a fact: the damage from cirrhosis can rarely be reverse.

According to observations conducted in the US between 2010 and 2016 and published in the American Journal of Medicine, alcoholic cirrhosis is the leading cause of nearly one-third of liver transplants, surpassing hepatitis C. For this purpose, the data available online are used for epidemiological studies using the CDC-WONDER system developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); it is worth emphasizing that it is an integrated information and communication system, very important for public health it works. Using these data, trends in mortality due to alcoholic cirrhosis were compared between 1999 and 2019 among 10-year-old (25 to 85) age groups in the United States by calculating the mortality rate per 100,000 inhabitants. The results obtained are as follows:

> In 1999, in a sample of 180,408,769 persons aged 25 to 85 years or older, the death rate from alcoholic cirrhosis was 3.33 per 100,000 (6,007 deaths).

> In 2019, the sample proportion rose to nearly 24.71% (224,981,167 people, 25 to 85 years or older), with a death rate of 10.57 per 100,000 (23,780 deaths).

The liver is crucial to the metabolic activities of the organism, with approximately 500+ vital functions attributed to it. / Medicine & Public Health – MSP Hepatology

What conclusions do these data show us?

This 20-year recorded data shows an upward trend, which indicates an approximately 3.17-fold increase in mortality from alcoholic cirrhosis in the United States; at the same time, there are other data showing a continued increase in alcohol consumption (a 21% increase in the United States, and a 21% increase in the rest of South America There are data that vary between 30-35%, during the pandemic) a product of the stress of COVID-19 and quarantine) and people start drinking at a much younger age.

These statistics help to think about several conclusions: Cases of cirrhosis deaths are not solely due to excessive alcohol consumption, we must also consider other risk factors; similarly, prevention efforts need to focus on reducing the sedentary lifestyle that leads us to overweight and obesity, not only in the United States, but also This is true in almost all regions of the planet; the emergence of the two aforementioned risk factors due to sedentary lifestyles may contribute to these alarming trends.

Principal Investigator Dr. Charles Hennekens, the first Sir Richard Doll Professor and Senior Academic Advisor to the Dean of the Charles E. Schmidt School of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, suggested that other factors may also be at play, such as the aforementioned Factors that contribute to a fatty liver and accelerate liver damage, while obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are among the root causes of the diabetes epidemic, as well as other diseases such as heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.

To combat this, Henekens stresses that men should drink no more than two drinks (or one drink) per day, and women no more than one drink per day. Also, it’s important to let people know that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to high mortality rates from things like cirrhosis and/or heart disease.

one in three liver transplants

As I said at the beginning, alcoholic cirrhosis is the leading cause of almost one third of liver transplants, based on observations conducted in the United States between 2010 and 2016 and published in the American Journal of Medicine in May 2022, Hepatitis C is more than that, so it is important to reduce alcohol consumption, which can prevent premature death. Another discrepancy the researchers found was that the biggest increases were among those between the ages of 24 and 35, with figures for that age group multiplied by seven. The biggest increase was among those aged 65 to 74.

At the same time, we can refer to the world report of the World Health Organization (WHO), which emphasizes that drinking alcohol will not only lead to alcohol dependence, but also increase people’s risk of suffering from more than 200 diseases such as liver cirrhosis. certain types of cancer. Harmful use of alcohol makes people more susceptible to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia. @mundiario

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