Research Papers

Alcohol top reason for liver failure: AIIMS study

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Surpassing Hepatitis B, alcohol has become the top cause of liver failure among people visiting All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the premiere institute has revealed in a study.

The death rate among the patients with alcohol-related liver failure was also found to be 64 per cent higher, the study said, adding that of the 150 such patients admitted to the institute between 2011 and 2015, 96 died within 10 days despite all possible medical intervention.

Follow-up of the rest of the patients who were discharged when their condition got stable revealed that nearly 20% died within three to four months and another 20% in a year, Economic Times reported.

“Once you have got acute-onchronic liver failure due to alcohol, survival is rare. Transplant, the only life-saving treatment option, is not possible immediately because three months of abstinence from alcohol is required,“ study lead Dr Shalimar, Associate Professor of Gastroenterology at AIIMS, was quoted as saying.

He pointed out that although liver infection caused by most hepatitis viruses can be cured by medicines, there was no medicine for alcoholism.

“Abstinence is the only way to prevent liver failure and deaths caused by that. The government needs to create awareness to prevent excessive drinking,“ the doctor added.

The research findings were recently published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.

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