Decade-long study finds 170% increase in alcohol-related liver disease in Beijing

Increased incomes in Beijing have resulted in an explosion of liver problems associated  with alcohol consumption and poor diets, a recently published decade-long study found.

While hepatitis B was once the largest cause for liver disease in Beijing, a successful vaccination program has effectively helped reduce the instances over the past two decades, leading to a shift in liver diseases from infectious to non-infectious sources, according to the study’s initial hypothesis.

Based on this theory, researchers from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institutes of Health (NIAAA/NIH) analyzed data from more than 20,000 patients at the Number 302 Hospital in Beijing that between 2002 and 2013.

They found the instances of Alcohol-related liver diseases (ALD) increased  by more than 170% , or 4.6% of all patients received, over the ten year period, while liver disease related to diet, or non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD),  increased by 111%.

“With recent changes in the economy and increases in average incomes in China during the same period, there has been a rapid rise in per capita alcohol consumption and an epidemic of obesity,” the study, Changes of Four Common Non-infectious Liver Diseases for the Hospitalized Patients in Beijing 302 Hospital from 2002 to 2013, said.

Also showing an alarming rate of increase were patients hospitalized for drug-induced liver impairment (DILI), which the study found was largely due to misuse of Chinese Herbal medicines.  In the same sample, DILI patients increased by 107% over the 10-year period.

“The increase in the rate of admission for ALD and DILI from Chinese herbal medicine suggests that strategies to reduce harmful use of alcohol and increase awareness and education on the use of herbal medicine are needed,” the study said.

The study was published in the biomedical journal Alcohol on July 18.

Comments are closed.