COVID-19 and Alcoholism: A Dangerous Synergy?
Ademola Samuel Ojo 1 * , Ayotemide Akin-Onitolo 2, Paul Okediji 3, Simon Balogun 4
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1 St George’s University School of Medicine, GRENADA2 Solina Center for International Development and Research, Abuja, NIGERIA3 Synberg Research & Analytics, Abuja, NIGERIA4 Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile Ife, NIGERIA* Corresponding Author


The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has triggered the world’s worst public health challenge in the last 100 years. In response, many countries have implemented disease control measures such as enforced quarantine and travel restrictions. These measures have inadvertent adverse effects on the mental health and psyche of populations. Long-term social isolation is associated with alcohol use and misuse, creating a potential public health crisis.
Alcohol and its intermediate products of metabolism have a multisystemic effect with an impact on the liver, heart, lungs as well as other organs in the body. Similarly, COVID-19 mediate a damaging effect on organ systems through cytopathic effects and cytokine storm. Alcoholism potentially increases the risk of cardiac injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary fibrosis, and liver damage in synergy with COVID-19; thereby worsening disease prognosis and outcome.
We conclude that the history of excessive alcohol consumption needs to be factored into the clinical management of COVID-19 patients. Similarly, epidemiologists and public health experts need to create public awareness on the need for cessation of alcohol abuse while instituting public health measures to control the spread of the infection.



This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Review Article

J CONTEMP STUD EPIDEMIOL PUBLIC HEALTH, 2020, Volume 1, Issue 1, Article No: ep20002

Publication date: 30 Jul 2020

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