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PRACTITIONER 2009;253(1718):15

Giving up alcohol early on improves survival in cirrhosis

21 May 2009Registered users

Stopping drinking a month after the diagnosis of cirrhosis is the most important predictor of survival, a British study has found. The severity of cirrhosis found on biopsy had little impact on survival. The study followed 100 patients consecutively diagnosed with biopsy proven alcohol-induced cirrhosis at Southampton General Hospital. Patients with additional disease processes which were non-cirrhotic and patients without accurate mortality data were excluded from the study. Biopsies were scored for severity of cirrhosis by two independent observers. Data on drinking 30 days after diagnosis were available on all but four subjects.'This study clearly confirms that the single most important determinant of long-term prognosis in alcohol-induced cirrhosis is for the patient to stop drinking. For patients with cirrhosis, it is never too late.'

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