Liver Disease

Liver disease is any condition that causes liver inflammation or tissue damage and affects liver function. The liver is the largest organ in the body and performs a number of vital functions such as converting nutrients derived from food into essential blood components, storing vitamins and minerals, regulating blood clotting, producing  proteins, enzymes, maintaining hormone balances, and metabolizing and detoxifying substances that would otherwise be harmful to the body. The liver also produces bile, a liquid that helps with digestion.


A moderate amount of alcohol is broken down by the liver without any damage. However, when drinking excessively, the liver can transform alcohol into fat and accumulate these lipids and become injured or seriously damaged. Liver injury can be determined by histology, abdominal ultrasonography and by testing the blood concentration of certain enzymes, such as gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), aspartate amino-transferase (AST), and alanine amino-transferase (ALT).

On the other hand, some studies suggest that moderate and regular consumption of alcoholic beverages may play a protective role against fatty liver disease, the exact mechanisms involved have not yet been clearly established.

The above summary provides an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.

AIMS: To describe incidence, prevalence, hospitalization rates and survival for alcoholic liver disease (ALD) in Denmark 2006-2011. METHODS: Using nationwide healthcare registries we identified all Danish residents with a hospital diagnosis of ALD and computed standardized incidence, prevalence, and hospitalization rates in 2006-2011, age- and birth cohort-specific incidence for the 1930-1974 birth cohorts, and 1- and 5-year survival. RESULTS: In 2006-2011, the overall standardized ALD incidence decreased from 343 to 311 per 1,000,000 population per year. ALD incidence increased among women aged 65 years or older, but decreased in younger persons and men. Persons born in 1950-1959 had higher age-specific incidence than earlier and later birth cohorts. The prevalence (0.2% of the Danish adult population) and hospitalization rate were constant.…
BACKGROUND: Fatty liver is an important clinical feature not only in alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, but in other chronic liver diseases as well. Our aim was to elucidate the effect and relationship between habitual alcohol intake and obesity in the development of fatty liver disease. METHODS: We enrolled 8,029 subjects undergoing abdominal ultrasonography with general medical examinations, and analyzed the factors associated with fatty liver based on daily alcohol intake, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference. RESULTS: For fatty liver, BMI, waist circumference, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and fasting plasma glucose were significant and independent risk factors. Heavy alcohol intake (50 g/day) was a significant risk factor for fatty liver in women (odds ratio [OR], 3.35). Analysis based…
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Roles of alcohol consumption in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are still controversial, although several cross-sectional studies have suggested the beneficial effect of light to moderate drinking on fatty liver. We analyzed the longitudinal relationship between drinking pattern and fatty liver. METHODS: We included 5297 Japanese individuals (3773 men and 1524 women) who underwent a baseline study in 2003 and follow-up at least once from 2004 to 2006. Generalized estimating equation was used to estimate any association between drinking pattern and fatty liver assessed by ultrasonography. RESULTS: At baseline, 1179 men (31.2%) and 235 women (15.4%) had fatty liver; 2802 men (74.2%) and 436 women (28.6%) reported alcohol consumption. At the latest follow-up, 348 of 2594 men (13.4%)…
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Alcohol is the main contributing factor of alcoholic cirrhosis, but less is known about the significance of drinking pattern. METHODS: We investigated the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis among 55,917 participants (aged 50-64years) in the Danish Cancer, Diet, and Health study (1993-2011). Baseline information on alcohol intake, drinking pattern, and confounders was obtained from a questionnaire. Follow-up information came from national registers. We calculated hazard ratios (HRs) for alcoholic cirrhosis in relation to drinking frequency, lifetime alcohol amount, and beverage type. RESULTS: We observed 257 and 85 incident cases of alcoholic cirrhosis among men and women, respectively, none among lifetime abstainers. In men, HR for alcoholic cirrhosis among daily drinkers was 3.65 (95% CI: 2.39; 5.55) compared to…
BACKGROUND: The objectives were to study alcohol consumption per capita and liver cirrhosis mortality in the population of Iceland. METHODS: The Statistic Iceland website supplied alcohol sales figures and death rates. RESULTS: The alcohol consumption increased 30% during the study period 1982-2009, because of increase in beer and wine, and decrease in spirits consumption. Chronic liver cirrhosis mortality increased significantly for men when comparing the 1982-88 rates (before beer ban was lifted) with the rates for 2003-09. CONCLUSION: The findings do not support the suggestion that spirits consumption rather than the total alcohol consumption affect the cirrhosis mortality.

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The authors have taken reasonable care in ensuring the accuracy of the information herein at the time of publication and are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Read more on our disclaimer.