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Liver transplant for alcohol-related liver disease in US

January 22, 2019

BottomLine: The proportion of liver transplants in the United States for alcohol-associated liver disease increased between 2002 and 2016, with much of the increase associated with a decrease in liver transplant for hepatitis C virus infection because of antiviral therapy. This observational study used data from the United Network for Organ Sharing for all liver transplants during the 15-year period and the national study group consisted of nearly 33,000 patients, including 9,438 patients with a diagnosis of alcohol-associated liver disease. Study findings suggest five-year survival after transplant was lower in patients with alcohol-associated liver disease. Authors suggest the increase in liver transplants for alcohol-associated liver disease may be related to changing attitudes about the length of sobriety needed for a transplant. The study relied on registry data so any conclusions are by association and not causal. Regional differences suggest dissimilar policies for liver transplant for alcohol-associated liver disease.
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Authors: Norah A. Terrault, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, and coauthors

(doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.6536)

Editor's Note: The article contains funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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JAMA Internal Medicine

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