Covid affects liver patients

Covid affects liver patients
For almost two years the world has been going through a pandemic, which was caused by the SARS-CoV 2 virus. In this situation it was revealed that those with underlying pathologies could be severely affected by the coronavirus.

Those with severe chronic conditions, such as hepatitis B and C, are advised to increase their precautionary measures against contracting and spreading the coronavirus. 

However, there is also the possibility of getting liver disease as a consequence of having had COVID. On this subject, some studies of patients with coronavirus showed that they had elevated ALT and AST enzyme levels, indicating that their livers were affected, at least temporarily. Although those who were strongly affected by the virus that is now sweeping the world are prone to liver damage. 

In a study conducted in China, where there was a sample of 1,099 patients, 2.1% were found to have hepatitis B before contracting coronavirus. Meanwhile, ALT enzymes increased by 21.3% and AST by 22.2%.

Another pattern identified in some patients hospitalized with coronavirus is that liver enzyme spikes were more common in men as well as in severe cases of COVID. 

However, it is not known at this time whether this is a sequel left by COVID or whether it has other unidentified causes. It is for this reason that more research is needed to determine certain aspects linked to liver and coronavirus, as COVID is, in a way, a disease that is still under investigation.

Are people with liver disease easily infected with COVID?

At the moment there is not enough information about this, what is known is that the immune system plays a fundamental role, so it is advisable to maintain a good diet, especially if you have liver disease, to increase the body’s defenses. 

Those who have hepatitis B, hepatitis C, cirrhosis, fatty liver or other liver diseases are part of the population at risk. As well as asthmatics, hypertensive patients, people with cardiovascular diseases, diabetics and older adults. For this reason, it is recommended to follow the assigned treatment and to expose oneself as little as possible.

Ana Henríquez, editor

Content intern Fundahígado America

Eugenia Jiménez Alvaréz, reviewer

Assistant to the Fundahígado América coordination

Bachelor in Biomedical Sciences


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Génesis is 3 years old and was born in Costa Rica with a congenital liver disease.


Elías is a young adolescent with an advanced liver disease.


Jin received a segment of his father´s liver in May 2015.