Everyday People Matter

Increase in Alcohol- Related Liver Disease in the Past Year

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2021 | Alcohol Related Diseases

Increased drinking among Americans during the pandemic may be causing a rise in alcohol – related liver disease of succient severity to require hospitalizations.

General stress during the pandemic compounded by factors such as joblessness, depression, and uncertainty has left many Americans reaching for yet another glass of wine. For most people, alcoholism has crept in slowly and unchecked. Contrary to what most people believe, you do not need to drink heavy amounts of alcohol for long periods of time in order to suffer liver damage.  Even heavy drinking for just a few months can cause enough damage to the liver to result in serious symptoms that require hospitalization.

Hospitals across the country are reporting an increase in the number of alcohol – related liver disease cases. At Johns Hopkins, researchers found that 41 percent of the liver disease cases that were referred to the facility were related to alcohol use, compared to 30% the previous year. Similar statistics are being reported from facilities across the country.  At some hospitals, there has been a 30% increase in liver damage cases.

Bingeing or binge drinking has also risen during the pandemic.   The American Psychological Association reported that as many as 25% of Americans admit to binge drinking.  Binging is often a direct result of stress. Binging is typically described as the consumption of four or more alcoholic beverages in a couple of hours.

Alcohol – related liver disease or liver cirrhosis could possibly qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security disability insurance program