Photo: Vonschonertagen (Getty Images)

Hi, this week we learned that Burger King is giving a sick pup free burgers for the rest of his days, and that the Minneapolis Department of Health decided to help a kid get a business going instead of shutting down his hot dog stand, and yet the world is still pretty much garbage. So go ahead and file two of these stories under, “yeah, no shit”: turns out loads of people are drinking loads more.

Also, drinking can boost sperm count, but that’s another matter.

First up, the Washington Post reports that U.S. deaths from liver disease have shot up sharply in recent years. That information comes courtesy of a study published in the British Medical Journal, which reveals that cirrhosis-related deaths rose by 65 percent from 1999 to 2016. Also, deaths caused by liver cancer doubled, and it’s all because we can’t stop with the boozin’.

What’s more, the group with the biggest increase in cirrhosis-related deaths was people between the ages of 25 and 34—that increase was an average of 10.5 per year. Regardless of age, if you “drink several drinks a night or have multiple nights of binge drinking—more than four or five drinks per sitting—per week,” you’re at risk—and women are particularly susceptible. That’s just great.

But hey, there’s an out. Per the Post:

If people with alcohol-related disease stop drinking, “there’s an excellent chance your liver will repair itself,” Tapper said. “Many other organs have the ability to regenerate to some degree, but none have the same capacity as the liver,” he added. He said that he routinely sees patients going “from the sickest of the sick to living well, working and enjoying their life.”

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Okay, great. This is great news. Great. Just great.

The next piece of booze news comes courtesy of WebMD. Though WebMD has on multiple occasions convinced us we have scurvy, they’re backing up this particular piece—“Alcohol consumption among women is on the rise”—with good old-fashioned statistics.

The data on the rise of alcohol consumption and abuse by women are staggering. Historically, men have been the ones to drink far more alcohol, but numerous studies show that is changing on a variety of fronts: alcohol use, binge drinking, alcohol use disorders, driving under the influence of alcohol, and more. Studies differ on the percentage increase, but all support a clear and troubling trend of more alcohol consumption among women.

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Among those studies: the National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism found that female alcohol use disorder in the U.S. increased 83.7 percent between 2002 and 2013; the National Institute On Drug Abuse found that young women are more likely to drink by 10th grade than young men, for the first time in history; a 2018 study revealed a sharp increase in alcohol-related emergency room visits across the board, but noted that increases were larger for women than for men.

“Males still consume more alcohol, but the differences between men and women are diminishing,” says Aaron White, PhD, senior scientific advisor to the director of the NIAAA.

Also, as promised, apparently moderate alcohol consumption can increase your sperm count. Happy Friday.

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