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Category: Liver Diseases
As cases of obesity rise in the U.S., so too have cases of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. While this illness has garnered significant attention in recent years, a new study has found that it is still not as damaging as liver disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption, which underscores the need for liver testing for heavy drinkers.
Researchers from the Visby Hospital in Sweden tracked the medical records of nearly 40,000 patients who were hospitalized for alcoholic liver complication and nearly 100,000 patients who sought treatment for nonalcoholic liver problems.
They found that individuals who were hospitalized for alcoholic problems generally had poorer outcomes following treatment. Knut Stokkeland, who led the investigation, said that this is likely because most individuals who are hospitalized for alcohol-related liver problems also have an alcohol dependency, which could hamper efforts to improve their condition.
"Alcohol dependency increases the risks of social problems, being a smoker, and severe psychiatric diseases," he said. "It also inhibits staying sober, which may stop disease progression."
He added that individuals who drink heavily on a regular basis should seek regular liver testing to make sure that their condition is not getting worse.
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