Alcohol is one of the main causes of end-stage liver disease worldwide, and alcoholic liver disease is the second most common reason for liver transplantation in the United States. Beginning in the 1970s, there was a gradual decline in alcoholic cirrhosis-related mortality in many countries. However, in the past few years, alcoholic liver disease mortality rates in several countries have stabilized or started to increase. There are significant ethnic and gender differences in alcoholic cirrhosis-related mortality rates. Furthermore, alcohol use increases the risk for liver disease in those infected with hepatitis C. A better understanding of the epidemiology of alcoholic liver disease will allow for improved diagnosis and management of this common problem.
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