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Alcohol abuse leading to a higher number of female cirrhosis patients, cautions study
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Alcohol abuse leading to a higher number of female cirrhosis patients, cautions study

Over the past few years, it is being observed that there has been a considerable increase in the number of women being detected with alcohol use disorders (AUD). This, in turn, is increasing their susceptibility to various health hazards. One such problem increasingly being diagnosed among women consuming alcohol is cirrhosis, in which an individual’s liver is not able to deliver its normal bodily functions like cleaning of blood, making essential nutrients, etc. It is commonly characterized by severe liver scarring caused due to long-term abuse of alcohol and foods laced with toxins.

According to a seven-year extensive national study, published in the online journal Hepatology, more than one-third of the total cirrhosis cases per year are related to alcohol. Furthermore, a notable increase of 50 percent has been recorded among women affected by alcohol-related cirrhosis compared to men who only showed an increase of 30 percent.

This Mother’s Day, observed every year on second Sunday of May, women, especially expectant moms and mothers, should understand that any amount of alcohol is dangerous that could harm them or their unborn kids or lead to other health problems, including mental illnesses.

High treatment costs of alcohol-related cirrhosis

The analysis was conducted on the basis of data of more than 100 million privately insured people, aged between 18 and 64 years. This data was collected from Truven Health MarketScan’s Commercial Claims and Encounters, the largest dataset of claims against private insurance offered by the employers.

On analyzing the dataset, the researchers arrived at the following findings:

  1. Among the group of 100 million insured people, cirrhosis was present in 294,215 people of which 105,871 (36 percent) had alcohol-related cirrhosis.
  2. People who had alcohol-related cirrhosis suffered from illness more often and had to be admitted or readmitted to a hospital more often compared to others. This, in turn, nearly doubled the health care costs per person i.e. $44,835 versus $23,329. Sometimes, the cost equated the cost borne for cancer patients.
  3. The chances of early diagnosis and treatment of cirrhosis were found to be rare. This is because many individuals delayed seeing a doctor for the presence of symptoms.

Study does not offer a broad perspective

It is difficult to rely completely on the findings of the study as the data used is limited and selective. Lead author of the study Jessica Mellinger, M.D., a Michigan medicine gastroenterologist and health services researcher at the Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation, said that the lack of data about the substance abuse claims from Medicare and Medicaid and the lack of information about the race and ethnic groups of the study sample limit its reliability and consistency.

Preventing alcohol abuse is the key

Attaching stigma to alcohol-related cirrhosis is common but it is important to understand that pillorying any health condition would only reinforce stigma that would act as a barrier in one’s path to recovery. One might get completely disillusioned with the idea of seeking help due to the fear of being branded an alcoholic.

Sovereign Health is one of the leading behavioral health treatment facilities in the United States offering personalized alcohol addiction treatment for women in a trigger-free environment. Our experts at the alcohol addiction treatment centers for women ensure that the highest quality of care is given without any compromise. Get in touch with us at our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with our representatives for details about the alcohol abuse recovery process followed at our alcohol rehab for women.

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