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Mortality from liver disease has increased over the last decade in the US. Alcohol is a known cause, but its use also contributes to the development or progression of other types of liver disease, complicating efforts to quantify the overall impact of alcohol use on liver disease. Researchers developed causal and statistical models based on a narrative review of the literature to assess the relationships between alcohol use and the development or progression of various liver diseases in the US in 2017, including through alcohol’s interactions with other relevant behavior-related risk factors.

  • Alcohol use caused 54,500 incident cases of liver cirrhosis, of which approximately 35% were from diseases other than alcohol-associated cirrhosis.
  • Through interaction with behavioral risk factors, alcohol use accounted for the progression to cirrhosis of 10,400 cases of obesity-related liver disease and 7700 cases of hepatitis C virus.
  • Alcohol use caused 47,300 total deaths from liver disease, including 6600 from liver cancer.

Comments: Accounting for alcohol’s role in liver diseases that are exacerbated by alcohol consumption or caused by alcohol-associated risk factors yields substantially higher estimates of morbidity and mortality than those based on diseases for which alcohol is the original or principal cause. This has important implications for public health surveillance, and serves as a reminder to clinicians about the role of alcohol in a wide range of liver diseases.

Timothy S. Naimi, MD, MPH

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The NHMRC Drinking Guidelines 2021: It is important to note these are just ‘guidelines’, not recommendations.

However, the growing evidence around both short- and long-term harms of alcohol consumption warrant a more robust set of warnings for consumers to better inform and create appropriate awareness of the real and growing harms.

You will note that alcohol should not be consumed by

But also, it is important to emphasise that you should also not consume alcohol if,

Further recommended resources,

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NewDrinkingGuidelines21

 

 

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Alcohol fuels the coronavirus pandemic in different ways, the alcohol industry exploits the current public health crisis and many governments around the world have largely failed to protect their people by using evidence-based alcohol policy solutions as part of the response to COVID-19 – according to a brand new research report.

 For complete media release

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ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) refers to traumatic incidents in childhood. They were identified in the epidemiological CDC-Kaiser ACE Study that surveyed 17,000 participants. The Study looked at how 10 types of childhood trauma (ACEs) affected a person’s long-term health. They included:

  • physical, emotional or sexual abuse;
  • physical and emotional neglect;
  • living with a family member a problem drinker or alcoholic or used street drugs
  • was in a household with a family member who was depressed or mentally ill or attempted suicide;
  • having parents who divorced or separated
  • having a family member who was incarcerated
  • witnessing a mother or step-mother being physically abused.

Secondhand drinking refers to the negative impacts a person’s drinking behaviors [or other drug use behaviours] has on others.

Drinking behaviors are typically unintentional (unless they are the behaviors a person exhibits when not drinking). They are the result of the ethyl alcohol chemicals in alcoholic beverages interrupting the brain’s normal cell-to-cell communication system while “waiting” to be metabolized by enzymes in the liver. This occurs at an average rate of 1 hour for each “standard drink,” which is defined as 5 ounces of table wine or 12 ounces of regular beer or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard liquor. Drinking patterns that cause drinking behaviors include binge drinking, alcohol abuse, and alcoholism.

Common drinking behaviors include: verbal, physical, emotional abuse; neglect; blackouts; sexual assault; breaking promises to stop or cut down; shaming, blaming, denying; domestic violence; unpredictable behaviors; alcohol-induced crime; and driving while impaired, to name a few.

Coping with these drinking behaviors causes serious physical and emotional and quality of life impacts – especially for the family and within that, especially for the children. These impacts are the consequence of toxic stress. Toxic stress changes brain and body health and function, which can cause a person to experience migraines, anxiety, depression, stomach ailments, sleep disorders, autoimmune disorders, changes in eating habits, and so much more. Toxic stress also causes a person to adopt unhealthy, toxic stress-related, reactionary coping skills (explosive anger, physically lashing out, shutting down emotionally, as examples).

For complete article

Click here for more on the Harms of Second-hand Drinking

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There is no such thing as a “safe” level of drinking, with increased consumption of alcohol associated with poorer brain health.

Conclusion: No safe dose of alcohol for the brain was found. Moderate consumption is associated with more widespread adverse effects on the brain than previously recognised. Individuals who binge drink or with high blood pressure and BMI may be more susceptible. Detrimental effects of drinking to be great than other modifiable factors. Current ‘low risk’ drinking guidelines should be revisited to take account of brain effects.

(Along with increasing risk of cancer, liver disease, road toll and family and domestic violence, it’s time to ‘rethink the drink?’ No Brainer)

For complete study

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