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Liver disease is very prominent in the Hispanic community and unfortunately not something they like to talk about. A more recent example is Cuban actress Elizabeth Peña who died last year from cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol abuse. She was an alcoholic and her death came was a shock to her loved ones as well as her fans. Other celebrities like news anchors, Elizabeth Vargas and Edna Schmidt have also had to leave their jobs due to alcohol abuse.
Just like these celebrities, there are many Hispanics that try to hide their alcohol problem and unfortunately by the time they get help it’s destroyed their careers, personal lives, or even caused them their life like in Peña’s case.
A new study in the journal: Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research found that Hispanics develop alcoholic liver disease at a younger age than African-Americans or Caucasians. The study found that Hispanics are diagnosed with alcoholic liver disease at a younger age, between four and ten years younger than other ethnic groups.
Unfortunately Hispanics start drinking at a very young age and that is a big environmental factor that is causing the high rates of alcoholic liver disease. Alcoholic liver disease occurs after years of heavy drinking and if you get a head start at a young age, this causes the inflammation of the liver. As time passes by, your liver scars and cirrhosis can occur. Obese people can also suffer from liver disease, this non-alcoholic liver disease is often referred to as fatty liver. Their liver has an accumulation of fat in the liver, which causes inflammation and scarring of the liver as well.
The study will help lay the ground work for future clinical and laboratory studies in order to understand the interactions between alcohol, genes, and environmental factors that contribute to this disease.