-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- People with liver failure
caused by an overdose of acetaminophen (Tylenol) have poorer health
than patients whose liver failure was caused by other problems, a
new study finds.
They reported more days of poor mental and physical health,
activity limitations because of poor health, pain, anxiety and
depression than other liver failure patients, U.S. researchers
Acetaminophen-overdose patients also had higher rates of
substance abuse and psychiatric disease than other liver failure
patients, the study found. And patients who suffered an accidental
acetaminophen overdose were less likely to have psychiatric
disorders than those who intentionally overdosed, 48 percent versus
For the study, published online in the journal
Liver Transplantation, the researchers analyzed data from
more than 280 patients who were diagnosed with acute liver failure
between January 1998 and July 2010 and followed them for two
Viewed together, both groups of survivors reported more days of
"fair/poor" health and more days with physical or mental health
impairment than adults in the general U.S. population, the
"Our findings indicate that adult survivors of ALF [acute liver failure] have reduced quality of life compared to those of similar age and gender in the general population," concluded Dr. Robert Fontana from the University of Michigan Medical Center.
"Additional investigations of brain function by our team are under way to further understanding of the type and severity of cognitive impairment reported by ALF survivors," he added.
Research shows that up to 3,000 people develop acute liver
failure in the United States each year, and that while two-thirds
of these patients will survive, nearly 30 percent of these patients
require emergency liver transplantation.
The long-term consequences of acute liver failure and the
health-related quality of life of survivors have been unclear, but
this study provides new insight into the issue.
While the results show an association between acetaminophen
overdose and worse quality of life among liver-failure patients,
they do not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.
The American Liver Foundation outlines
25 ways to love your liver.
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