The Spectrum and Causes of Liver Disease in Narcotic Addicts

ALVIN M. GELB, DONNA MILDVAN, RICHARD J. STENCER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fifty charts of patients discharged with a diagnosis of liver disease from the acute care service of a hospital for the treatment of addiction were analyzed. Among 42 active heroin users or former heroin addicts maintained on methadone, 79% were heavy alcohol abusers. Seventeen cases of cirrhosis were encountered. All occurred in those abusing alcohol. Reversible liver disease was seen in both alcohol abusers and nonalcoholics. This study suggests that alcohol is a major factor in the development of irreversible liver disease in active heroin addicts and ex‐addicts on methadone maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-318
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume67
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1977
Externally publishedYes

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