From 1999 to 2016, liver disease deaths in the United States increased by 65 percent, according to a study by two professors at the Universisty of Michigan.
The trend gained even more steam in 2009, a year after the beginning of the longest phase of economic decline in the United States since the Great Depression, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.
But what worries the health authorities most is that young people are drinking more than ever before to death. For adults aged 25 to 34 years, the increase in deaths in those years was solely due to alcohol-related liver disease.
"We thought we would see improvements, but these data make it clear: even after hepatitis C, we will become" Tapper, a member of the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Healthcare Services at the UM Institute for Health Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan, told the daily "Science Daily". "Any alcohol-related death means decades of lost lives, broken families and lost economic productivity, and costs billions of dollars in dying cirrhosis."
The deaths of young adults from liver failure increased on average between 2009 and 201
Tapper called the trend "disturbing" in a press release.
The actual deaths from cirrhosis increased from 20,661 in 1999 to 34,174 in 2016. Cirrhosis is defined by scarring of the liver, caused by long-term damage, prolonged drinking, hepatitis C or what is known as fatty liver.
Liver cancer deaths more than doubled over the same period, from 5,112 in 1999 to 11,073 in 2016, according to the study. Just a few days before Tappers and Parikh's study was published, the CDC released a report stating that between 2000 and 2006, deaths from adults aged 25 years and older due to liver cancer increased by 43 percent.
Longer, strong drinking is a known cause of liver cancer.
A study from 2017 called the increase in alcohol use disorder and "high-risk" drinking from 2001 to 2013 a "public health crisis" for the US.