July 17, 2021 – White is not an outlier. The number of Americans being treated for severe liver disease from alcohol increased during the pandemic, experts told NBC News.

“What we’ve seen during Covid-19 is really a dramatic increase in hospital admissions for alcohol-associated liver disease,” said Dr. Brian Lee, an assistant professor of clinical medicine and a liver transplant specialist at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. “Because of things like lockdowns or being stressed out at home, people started to drink more, didn’t realize that they were drinking harmful amounts,” he said. And then they come “into the hospital with life-threatening liver disease.”

Lee said that USC has seen a 30 percent increase in hospital admissions for alcohol-related liver disease since March 2020. That includes people who had a previously under-control alcohol problem as well as those who had no history of issues with alcohol, a trend Lee said is worrisome.



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