Waitlist registrations and liver transplants associated with increased alcoholic hepatitis during the COVID-19 pandemic
In a recent study from University of Michigan Published Tuesday in the journal JAMA Open Network, the authors examined national changes in waiting list registration and liver transplants for alcohol-related liver disease, as well as association with the epidemic-related outbreak. Alcohol sales are on the rise.
Looking at the data Obtained from the Standard File for Transplant Analysis and Research of the United Network for Organ Sharing of new waiting list registrations and liver transplants from deceased primary donors of adults in the United States between January 1, 2016 and January 31, 2021, the team assessed a total of 51,488 new liver transplants. Waiting list records and 32,320 deceased donor liver transplants.
Those on the pre-COVID-19 waiting list and liver transplant recipients were between 50 and 64 years old, with an average of 58 years old.
The median ages for both new enrollees on the waiting list during COVID-19 and transplant recipients during COVID-19 were also 58.
Among the new entrants to the waiting list, more than 36% were women and nearly 64% were men during the pre-COVID-19 period, while more than 37% were women and about 63% were men during the pandemic.
Patients’ data were classified in the primary diagnosis list as alcoholic hepatitis, alcohol-related cirrhosis, or any other diagnosis.
The researchers compared the ratios of waiting list enrollments and liver transplants from deceased donors during COVID-19 to the same time frame before COVID-19, using χ2 tests to help characterize short-term changes.
To assess these changes, the group compared the observed monthly amounts of waiting list registrations and liver transplants from deceased donors from March 2020 to January 2021 with expected values based on pre-COVID-19 trends.
In addition, the national monthly retail alcohol sales From January 2016 to January 2021 of beer, wine, and liquor stores obtained by the US Census Bureau’s monthly retail report.
Associations of alcohol sales, waiting list registrations, and deceased donor liver transplants were assessed using Spearman’s rank order correlation and analyzes were performed using StataCorp software.
The data was analyzed from March to April of this year.
From June to January 2021, registrations for the national organ transplant waiting list related to alcoholic hepatitis and the number of liver transplants from deceased donors were more than 50% above the expected volume.
From March 2020 to January 2021, researchers said there was a “significant increase in the proportions of waiting list registrations” and liver transplants from deceased donors due to alcoholic hepatitis compared to the same period before COVID.
Instead, there was an overall decline in waiting list registrations and liver transplants from deceased donors at the start of the pandemic, as COVID-19 patients overwhelmed hospitals.
Finally, the group found that there was a temporal and positive association between increased waiting list registrations and deceased donor liver transplants for alcoholic hepatitis and increased retail alcohol sales.
Trends in cirrhosis associated with alcohol or any other diagnosis did not change.
The authors wrote: “Although we cannot confirm a causal relationship, this disproportionate increase with increased alcohol sales may suggest an association with known increases in alcohol misuse during COVID-19, adding that because less than 6% of patients with Acute alcoholic hepatitis is listed For transplant, the increased waiting list size during COVID-19 represents a small portion of the increase in alcoholic hepatitis.
“This study provides evidence of an alarming increase in [alcoholic hepatitis] associated with increased alcohol use during COVID-19 and highlights the need for public health interventions around excessive alcohol consumption.”
Maia S. Anderson, resident of general surgery at Michigan Medicine and first author of the study and He said in a statement. “It highlights the need for public health interventions around excessive alcohol consumption.”
According to Johns Hopkins MedicineAlcoholic hepatitis is inflammation of the liver that leads to liver cell damage and cell death. It is caused by drinking too much alcohol and usually develops over time – although sometimes acute hepatitis can come on suddenly and quickly and lead to liver failure and death.
Dietary guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend no more than one drink per day for women and two for men.
Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for 95,000 deaths in the United States each year. The agency says, including 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults.