Hepatitis C Patients Likely to be Former Drinkers
People living with hepatitis C are more likely to be either a former or current excessive alcohol consumer, according to a national study of United States adults published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study also found that those infected drink at a higher rate per day, on average consuming five or more alcoholic drinks daily.
Researchers on the study analyzed self reported alcohol use in hepatitis C patients. They gathered the information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study. The study included four categories of drinkers: lifetime abstainers, former drinkers, non-excessive current drinkers and excessive current drinkers. They found that the former drinkers had the highest prevalence of hepatitis C, at 2.2 percent, followed by excessive current drinkers at 1.5 percent, non-excessive current drinkers at .9 percent at lifetime abstainers at .4 percent.
Hepatitis C patients that consume alcohol have a faster development of fibroris and cirrhosis of the liver. Alcohol-related liver disease is the third leading cause of death with hepatitis C patients. Because of these statistics and many studies like this one being conducted, alcohol screenings should regularly be done on hepatitis C patients.