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Study finds liver transplants tripled during pandemic

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A new study published in the JAMA Network found that liver transplants were rising due to people drinking heavily during the pandemic.

Researchers at the University of Michigan analyzed a national waitlist for liver transplants and numbers of transplants from deceased donors that included over 50,000 on waiting list registrations and over 30,000 donations from deceased donors between January 2016 to January 2021.

They found that in the U.S., those on a waiting list or who received a liver transplant were 50% higher in liver transplants for people due to alcoholic hepatitis.

Alcoholic hepatitis is caused when the liver stops processing alcohol.

This was based on trends from before the pandemic.

From June 2020 to January 2021, researchers found that the number of those on the waiting list and deceased donors rose to 60% based on pre-pandemic trends.