February 26, 2020
“Our study showed that how much you drink in your late teens can predict the risk of developing cirrhosis later in life.”
~ Dr. Hannes Hagström, MD, PhD, Centre for Digestive Diseases, Karolinska University Hospital
Drinking is the #1 cause of cirrhosis of the liver and other liver disease-related deaths. Now, a massive and long-term Swedish study has concluded that drinking during the teenage years may be the first step towards later liver problems as an adult.
The Swedish study, which commenced in 1969-1970, involved in more than 49,000 young Swedish soldiers, ages 18 through 20. After 39 years of follow-up through 2009, nearly 400 men were suffering severe liver disease:
The only long-term treatment option is a liver transplant.
Over 40% of people with cirrhosis also develop HE, and in those dual cases, more than half will die within a year.
Here’s the thing to keep in mind—there are no approved medical treatments for alcohol-induced liver disease.
“Safe levels of alcohol consumption must be revised for the general population and public health policies must be adapted accordingly.”
~ Dr. Alexandre Louvet, MD, PhD, Hôpital Huriez
These results were dose-dependent, with no upper threshold. The likelihood of eventual liver disease was highest among men consuming just two drinks per day, or about 20 grams. Significantly, that amount is considered to be merely “moderate” drinking.
But the results are even more alarming when other risk factors for liver disease are considered:
When adjusted for these factors, the risk for serious liver disease remains significant at just six grams of alcohol per day. That is a little over half a drink.
These results suggest that the recommended drinking levels need to be revised downward. In fact, there may be NO SAFE DRINKING LEVELS FOR TEENAGERS. Virtually any level of drinking creates a significant danger of future liver disease and complications.
In 2014, Theoretically, alcohol-related liver disease is 100% preventable.
If you are concerned about the health consequences of underage drinking, Teensavers Treatment Centers can help. As the most trusted youth-focused alcohol rehab in Orange County, Teensavers provides treatment and support to teenagers and families is crisis due to substance abuse.
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