According to a new study by BMJ, alcohol related liver deaths have been rising in the U.S over the past 7 years. In the decade preceding this uptick, these deaths were on the mend. Southern and western states have had the greatest change in alcohol related liver deaths.
Other demographic groups also carry a higher burden of this spike. Young people ages 25 to 34 years old-- particularly young men-- seem to be driving the upward trend in alcohol related liver deaths. Liver failure usually takes years to develop and become deadly, which is why middle-aged men have historically been the face of the disease. The progressed cases of alcohol related liver deaths happening to a young age group signal that the alcohol abuse these people are engaging in is very severe.
Advanced alcohol abuse is linked to depression, particularly for young men but not older people or women. The authors correlate the worsening trend in alcohol related liver deaths—particularly among young men-- with the 2008 financial recession.
This chart shows the average annual percent change of alcohol related liver deaths by selected states, 1999-2016.
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