The increase in alcohol consumption during the pandemic could lead to 8,000 additional alcohol-related deaths from liver disease by 2040, a new study estimates.
The increase in pandemic-related drinking also could lead to 18,700 additional cases of liver failure and 1,000 additional cases of liver cancer, The Hill reports.
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital used data from a national survey of U.S. adults. They found excessive drinking rose by 21% during the pandemic. They simulated drinking and liver disease trends in all U.S. adults, and found a sustained rise in alcohol consumption for more than one year could result in 19% to 35% additional mortality.
“Our findings highlight the need for individuals and policymakers to make informed decisions to mitigate the impact of high-risk alcohol drinking during the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.,” senior author Jagpreet Chhatwal said in a news release.