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January 31, 1972

Medical News

JAMA. 1972;219(5):573-580. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190310007003

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Esophageal varices grow smaller when alcoholics stop drinking  Everyone (including the drinker) has heard that if an alcoholic with cirrhosis of the liver quits drinking, his condition will improve. If he keeps drinking, his condition will get worse. Now it appears that the same is true of cirrhotic patients who develop esophageal varices—the lesions decrease in patients who stop drinking and continue to grow (often to the point of rupture) in those who continue consuming too much alcohol.Whether this news will scare an alcoholic out of his habit is anyone's guess, but it certainly gives him another reason to try, and provides the physician with yet another point of persuasion, as Angelo E. Dagradi, MD, pointed out in a Roper Award contest paper at the American College of Gastroenterology meeting in Atlanta. Dr. Dagradi is associate clinical professor of medicine at UCLA School of Medicine and the University