Liver diseases present comorbidity for Covid-19, says study

Prahasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 31, 2020

‘Risk of death rises twofold if patient has non-alcoholic fatty liver disease’

Covid-19 positive people with underlying liver diseases such as cirrhosis or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are at a higher risk of dying from the virus, as per a study presented at the Digital International Liver Congress (DILC).

The Startup World quoted Professor Thomas Berg, section head at University Hospital's hepatology department in Germany, as saying at the conference that comorbidities play a “noteworthy role” in the severity of Covid-19 cases.

Cardiovascular is the most known risk factors, but nobody can see anything about the liver, added Berg while establishing a correlation between chronic liver disease and obesity with mortality during the pandemic.

Berg noted that the most common and known form of chronic liver disease is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. He said this comorbidity explicitly raises the risk of deaths twofold if the patient has a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease condition.

According to recent statistical data, over 25 per cent of the world's population might have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is clearly connected to obesity, also a risk factor for Covid-19, Berg added.

He noted that this is highly common in adults who are less than 60 years of age.

He further suggested that non-cirrhotic liver disease does not cause severity in Covid-19 positive patients. However, the mortality risk increases if a patient develops cirrhosis during the fight against Covid-19. This risk can go up to 50 per cent.

Berg also raised concerns over people not going to hospitals due to the fear of catching the virus, which can, in turn, deteriorate the condition of their liver and increase the chances of advanced liver disease.

Published on August 31, 2020

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