A study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has found more American young people are dying from liver cirrhosis caused by alcohol products since 2009. The pandemic has made the situation worse, with Big Alcohol promoting alcohol products as a coping mechanism. Urgent federal policy action is needed to protect American youth from the harm caused by the products and practices of the alcohol industry.

Youth are the world’s future. Everyone wants to ensure young people are healthy to tackle the future goals and challenges. But acohol is an obstacle to young people’s health, robbing them of their youth and health.

A study published in the BMJ analyzed cirrhosis and liver cancer deaths in the United States (U.S.) from 1999 to 2016. A worrying trend was observed where young people aged 25 to 34 years old had the highest relative increase in deaths caused by liver cirrhosis between 2009 to 2016. These deaths which are primarily driven by alcohol increased by 10.5% for this age group during this time period.

Increase in liver cirrhosis deaths among American youth from 2009 to 2016
A study found that, between 2009 to 2016, liver cirrhosis deaths among 25 to 34 year old American youth increased by an average 10.5%.

Chronic alcohol use is the primary cause for cirrhosis of the liver. This means American young people are facing severe harm caused by the products and practices of the alcohol industry.

…the fact is, we are dealing with this kind of condition in our hospital and clinic every day,” said Dr. Elliot Tapper, lead researcher and an assistant professor of gastroenterology at the University of Michigan, as per The Business Journals.

A lot of younger men are showing up very sick. It’s always shocking to meet someone in their 20s or 30s who has liver failure.”

Dr. Elliot Tapper, lead researcher, assistant professor of gastroenterology, University of Michigan

As Movendi International previously reported, the pandemic has made the situation even worse. Big Alcohol is fueling a rise in alcohol-related liver disease.

Recently, it was exposed that the alcohol industry earned $17.5 billion or 8.6% of their sales revenue from alcohol sold to under-age adolescents in the United States, in 2016.

Three major alcohol companies AB Inbev, Molson Coors (then MillerCoors) and Diageo have made almost half (45%) of these profits.

This data exposes how much the alcohol industry relies on under-age alcohol consumption for substantial profits – and how they are fueling liver disease deaths among young Americans.

The University of Michigan health system reports that alcoholic liver disease is up by 30% over the last year. Women and young people – specific target groups of Big Alcohol – are at higher risk according to the data.

The alcohol industry is exploiting the current health crisis to maximize profits by promoting alcohol as a coping mechanism. Such marketing strategies of the alcohol industry hit young adults who may be starting new families, entry level employment and trying to buy a house have been affected economically due to the effects of the pandemic.

There is an urgent need for prioritization of alcohol policy development by the U.S. federal government to prevent alcohol harm in young people, such as liver cirrhosis. Alcohol policy solutions are proven to protect young Americans from the products and practices of the alcohol industry. But they need to be prioritized over the profit interest of Big Alcohol.

Source Website: The Business Journals