*EMBARGOED All research presented at the 2021 ACG Annual Scientific Meeting and Postgraduate Course is strictly embargoed until Sunday, October 24, 2021, at 3:30 pm EDT.
Oral 35 Alcohol-Related Liver Disease Increased in Severity During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Author Insight from Lindsay A. Sobotka, DO, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
What’s new here and important for clinicians?
Hospitalizations related to alcoholic hepatitis increased during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic; these patients were more likely to experience hepatic decompensation and require critical care support compared to patients admitted prior to the pandemic. While the number of hospitalizations related to alcoholic cirrhosis did not increase during the pandemic, hospitalized patients had higher Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) scores and increased risk of developing hepatic decompensation, requiring critical care support and inpatient mortality.
What do patients need to know?
Alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic led to increased morbidity and mortality- specifically in patients that already had underlying liver disease. The importance of alcohol cessation, counseling and close physician monitoring is emphasized given continued or relapsed alcohol consumption can significantly affect quality of life, life expectancy and liver transplantation candidacy.
Lindsay A. Sobotka, DO, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
lindsay [dot] sobotka [at] osumc [dot] edu
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