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High levels of drinking leads to liver problems in young adults

Category: Liver Diseases

A growing number of young people are receiving unhealthy liver panel results, according to a new study from a team of British researchers, underscoring a troubling trend associated with rising rates of alcohol use.

The findings are concerning because advanced-stage liver disease was once confined to older individuals who had been drinking heavily for many years. The new results indicate that more people are now reaching that level of alcohol consumption by their 30th birthday.

A team of researchers from Newcastle University found that hospital admissions for alcohol-related liver disease increased by 61 percent in the UK between 2002 and 2010. The researchers said that this reflects dangerous levels of alcohol consumption among young adults.

"The earlier the age at which children drink, and the more they drink, the greater the chance of developing serious liver disease in adult life," said Chris Record, a liver specialist at the University of Newcastle. "Many patients are now presenting with terminal liver disease in their late twenties and early thirties."

The problem is reaching severe levels in the U.S. as well, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 14,406 individuals died from alcohol-related liver disease in 2007.
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