We Drank So Much During the Pandemic that Liver Transplants Spiked

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We knew from the beginning that binge drinking increased during COVID-19 lockdowns. Researchers at the University of Michigan now have grim news: There has been a significant spike in liver transplants during this pandemic drinking.

According to JAMA Network Open, the researchers discovered a positive correlation between alcohol sales and the number of patients waiting for liver transplants. The actual numbers on the waiting lists rose 50 percent more than predicted in the pre-pandemic period.

Although we can't prove causality, the paper suggested that this unusual increase in sales of alcohol may be related to known increases in alcohol misuse during COVID-19.

According to the study authors, there was also an increase in cases of alcoholic liver disease. This is a condition where the liver cannot properly process alcohol. According to the Mayo Clinic, this causes liver inflammation and toxic buildup. This is a serious condition and can lead to liver failure.



You can get alcoholic hepatitis from long-term heavy drinking or short-term high alcohol consumption.

The paper concludes that this study shows alarming evidence of an increase in (alcoholic liver disease) due to increasing alcohol misuse during COVID-19. It also highlights the need for public interventions regarding excessive alcohol intake.

This is a disturbing finding, as the world gradually but surely gets to grips about the true impact of the pandemic. According to a study, lockdowns that were required to stop the spread of COVID led to an increase in binge drinking among Americans. All these problems are made worse by the fact that not enough people receive proper mental health support.

With increased vaccination and decreasing cases of COVID, we should see the increase in liver transplants fall. But, we will likely have to deal with the entire mental and physical effects of the pandemic for the long-term.



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