Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Liver Disease: It Is Never Too Late To Stop Drinking, According To Researchers

Date:
April 16, 2009
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
Where there is life there is hope and it is never too late to stop drinking, even with the most severe case of alcohol-related liver disease, according to new research. However, the downside is that up a quarter of people with alcohol-related cirrhosis die before they get the chance to stop drinking. Alcohol-related cirrhosis develops silently but usually presents with an episode of internal bleeding or jaundice - which is often fatal.

Where there is life there is hope and it is never too late to stop drinking, even with the most severe case of alcohol-related liver disease, according to new research from the University of Southampton.

Related Articles


However, the downside is that up a quarter of people with alcohol-related cirrhosis die before they get the chance to stop drinking. Alcohol-related cirrhosis develops silently but usually presents with an episode of internal bleeding or jaundice - which is often fatal.

The study, led by Dr Nick Sheron, senior lecturer at the University of Southampton and consultant hepatologist at Southampton General Hospital, found that abstinence from alcohol is the key factor in long-term prognosis, even with relatively severe alcohol-related cirrhosis on a liver biopsy.

The study's aim was to determine the effect of pathological severity of cirrhosis on survival in patients with alcohol-related cirrhosis.

Liver biopsies from 100 patients were scored for the Laennec score of severity of cirrhosis between 1 January 1995 and 31 December 2000, and medical notes were reviewed to determine various clinical factors including drinking status.

Using up-to-date mortality data from the National Health Service Strategic Tracing Service, Dr Sheron found that whether or not someone was still drinking was the most important factor determining long-term survival in alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.

He found that the degree of cirrhosis found on a liver biopsy was less of a factor on survival. Abstinence from alcohol at one month after diagnosis of cirrhosis was a more important factor determining survival, with a seven-year survival rate of 72 per cent for patients who had given up drinking, against 44 per cent for the patients continuing to drink.

Dr Sheron comments: "These findings illustrate the critical significance of stopping alcohol intake in alcohol-related cirrhosis, but unfortunately the services needed to help these patients stay alcohol-free simply do not exist in many parts of the UK.

"This study clearly confirms the common-sense knowledge amongst hepatologists that the single most important determinant of long-term prognosis in alcohol-induced cirrhosis is for the patient to stop drinking.

"At the most simplistic level, the successful management of alcohol-induced liver disease comprises two components; firstly to keep the patient alive long enough for them to stop drinking and secondly to maximise their chances of continued abstinence. A third and vital objective at a public health level is to prevent people developing alcohol-related cirrhosis in the first place. If we are to reduce liver mortality it would seem important to encourage and support patients to stop drinking, and to address the public health aspects of alcohol-related liver disease."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alcohol, cirrhosis and mortality. Addiction, (in press)

Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Liver Disease: It Is Never Too Late To Stop Drinking, According To Researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415120124.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2009, April 16). Liver Disease: It Is Never Too Late To Stop Drinking, According To Researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415120124.htm
University of Southampton. "Liver Disease: It Is Never Too Late To Stop Drinking, According To Researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415120124.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins