Alcoholic Hepatitis is a liver inflammation disease typically contracted by heavy alcohol consumers that have been drinking for years. It’s a disease that affects around 200,000 American’s annually. Recently, a new study conducted on the disease has changed the way treatment for the condition is viewed. In a recent response to the study made by Thoetchai B. Peeraphatdit, MD, from the “Mayo Clinic College of Medicine”, the “long-term survival is dependent on abstinence rather than the severity of the liver disease”.
This study, which involved researchers collecting rehabilitation data on 135 patients in a test cohort and 119 patients in a validation cohort, concluded that early alcohol rehabilitation not only reduced the relapse rate for patients but also the 30-day readmission hospitalization rate. Patients’ exercising self-control and abstinence from alcohol is the key to long-term recovery. Alcohol-induced hepatitis is a treatable condition but can worsen over time (and will) if drinking continues. This is why, regardless of the severity of the disease, abstinence takes prevalence over treatment as treating the condition isn’t affective for the long-term when the patient continues to consume alcohol.
During the study, 27 patients from the test cohort and 19 from the validation cohort participated in an alcohol rehabilitation program. The attended recovery programs include residential treatment, outpatient care, and support groups (such as “alcohol anonymous”).
A unique data point of this study showed that individuals in the validation cohort that had attained a college degree were more likely to attend early rehabilitation than those that haven’t (adjusted OR = 4.62; 95% CI, 1.19-17.9). For patients in the test cohort that have been hospitalized for alcohol hepatitis in the past 30 days, for the one’s that attended early rehab, the 30-day readmission rate was 30.4%. This figure rises fractionally to 30.8% for individuals in the validation cohort.
Statistically, those that attend early alcohol rehabilitation are less likely to readmit themselves to a hospital for alcohol-induced hepatitis over those that don’t. For the test cohort, persons’ in this group that had attended early rehabilitation showed a large decrease in readmission rates than those that haven’t attended a recovery program. While the 30-day readmission rate for test cohort patients that haven’t participated in early rehab decreased by only 11%, those that did undergo early rehab were 35.2% less likely to require hospitalization, within 30 days of treatment.
Furthermore, not only did the 30-day hospital readmission rate decrease but so did the 30-day relapse rate. Of the patients that took part of early alcohol rehab, only 7.4% relapsed within 30 days. Of those that have been hospitalized for alcohol hepatitis that did “not” receive early alcohol rehab, the relapse rate soars to 44.4%; this was for patients in the test cohort.
In the validation cohort, of those that received early rehab, only 5.3% of individuals relapsed within the first 30 days whereas 45.9% of those that hadn’t received early rehab experienced a relapse within the first 4 weeks.
Among the test cohort group participants, the mortality rate was 39.3% over a 2.8-year period. For the validation cohort, the mortality rate decreased to 26.4% over 1.3 years. A multivariate study which combined statistics from both groups confirmed that the participants that elected to attend early rehab did so as an independent protective choice.
In conclusion of this study, following an “alcohol-related hepatitis” hospitalization admission, the 30-day readmission and relapse rates are 30% and 37%, respectively. At the end of the day, there’s a correlation between early alcohol rehabilitation and a reduced rate in hospital readmissions, relapses, and deaths.
Early alcohol rehab and recovery education is an important part of recovery for patients to receive the long-term recovery they need, especially when it comes to conditions such as “alcohol hepatitis” where abstinence from alcohol is more effective over the long-term than continued treatment.
Dr. Vikram Tarugu, is a best-in-class, board certified gastroenterologist in South Florida. Specializing in the diagnosis and treatments of gastrointestinal tract conditions.
Dr. Tarugu is currently in private practice and has privileges at Raulerson hospital. He is also the CEO of Detox of South Florida. He is routinely rated as one of the best GI doctors and liver doctors in Florida. Patients through out the US have sought his expertise and seek his help when a second opinion is needed with difficult and chronic Gastro intestinal and liver diseases.
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