As you get older, you have less muscle mass and your liver isn’t as strong. This causes the effects of alcohol to be stronger, even if you’re drinking the same amount you always have. It may not be as easy to recognize, but alcoholism in older adults is common. If you believe that you or a loved one has problems with alcohol, you can contact your family doctor and they can perform a substance abuse screening. No national regulation determines how long a patient needs to be abstinent before being added to the waitlist; each transplant center sets its own policies. As of 2019, only about one-third of liver transplant hospitals in the U.S. had performed a transplant without one.

Some may experience mild pain in the upper right side of the abdomen. In these cases, treatment focuses on preventing further damage and treating other factors that can make the disease worse, such as infection and malnourishment. All authors have completed and submitted the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. Timothy Stockwell reports grants and personal fees from Alko, Finland, outside the submitted work. Stephanie Catalano is an accomplished Clinical Director at Agape Behavioral Healthcare. With a Master of Social Work degree, LCSW license, and extensive training in Rapid Resolution Therapy under her belt, she brings a wealth of expertise to her role.

What is the Life Expectancy of an Alcoholic?

Your body can’t produce thiamine on its own—it has to be ingested through your diet. This is typically a non-issue for most healthy adults (think whole grains, asparagus, kale, pork, beef, chicken, eggs and potatoes). Those who struggle with alcohol use disorder, though, are at risk of thiamine deficiency. Instead of eating a balanced diet, many alcoholics drink their calories, depriving their bodies of essential vitamins. In other cases, an alcohol-induced inflammation of the stomach lining reduces the body’s ability to absorb vitamins.

life expectancy of an alcoholic

Females are more susceptible to the negative effects of alcohol, even at the same levels of alcohol intake as males, so are more likely to quickly develop fibrosis, inflammation, and liver injury as a result of alcohol. As how long do alcoholics live the liver no longer processes toxins properly, a person will be more sensitive to medications and alcohol. Alcohol use speeds up the liver’s destruction, reducing the liver’s ability to compensate for the current damage.

Permanent Damage From Alcoholic Liver Disease

Kari has been affiliated with Hemet Valley Recovery Center since 2020, and currently serves as a Chemical Dependency Counselor and Case Manager for the Acute Detoxification and Partial Hospitalization programs. She is currently working on her degree in Psychology to better serve the growing number of co-occurring needs of those suffering from the disease of addiction, as well as experiencing mental health issues. Kari is passionate in her work with patients and referents to establish care plans and discharges that provide for the best success in recovery. Dolly joined Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat in February 2020 as an RADT.

  • There were 339,267 (78.8%) participants without drinking, 60,309 (14.0%) modest drinkers, and 30,440 (7.1%) regular drinkers.
  • Typically, the life expectancy for a person with cirrhosis of the liver is around 2–12 years.
  • By the time a person is in end-stage alcoholism, there can be no denying that drinking has taken over their life and damaged their health.
  • Even though there are many health consequences an individual can face during the last stages of alcoholism, quitting drinking can alleviate many of the symptoms.

Then, it will give you insight into how your drinking is taking time off of your life. Once you’ve filled in the fields, it will reveal your original life expectancy. Thank you for your interest in supporting Kaiser Health News (KHN), the nation’s leading nonprofit newsroom focused on health and health policy. We distribute our journalism for free and without advertising through media partners of all sizes and in communities large and small.



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