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Sanjiv Chopra, MD: Liver Disease During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Alcohol use increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to an increase in alcoholic hepatitis.

Americans were plagued by sedimentary lifestyles well before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teenagers opting for video games rather than sports, office workers logging long hours without a break, and other unwinding with television is having a negative impact on the health of many.

Then when the pandemic is added in with gym closures and social opportunities cancelled, the health of many suffered greatly.

One such disease that individuals with a sedimentary lifestyle are prone to is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

In an interview with HCPLive®, Sanjiv Chopra, MD, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, that the pandemic had a profound impact on an already growing liver disease problem.

Chopra also said alcoholic hepatitis rates increased during the pandemic.

“People were drinking more, perhaps because they were stressed and had access to alcohol,” he said. “They were not exercising, eating comfort food, and stressed.”

However, for many of these liver disease simple lifestyle fixes could make a large difference.

Chopra said even losing a little weight makes a profound impact on the risk of NAFLD. Other tips include regularly drinking coffee, vitamin D supplementation, and taking regular walk breaks at work when possible to avoid sitting for long stretches at a time.