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.

BACKGROUND: In the past 15 years mortality rates from liver disease have doubled in the UK. Brief alcohol advice is cost effective, but clinically meaningful reductions in alcohol consumption only occur in around 1 in 10 individuals. AIM: To provide evidence that detecting early liver disease in the community is feasible, practical, and that feedback of liver risk can increase the proportion of subjects reducing alcohol consumption. DESIGN AND SETTING: A community feasibility study in nine general practice sites in Hampshire. METHOD: Hazardous and harmful drinkers were identified by WHO AUDIT questionnaire and offered screening for liver fibrosis. RESULTS: In total, 4630 individuals responded, of whom 1128 (24%) hazardous or harmful drinkers were offered a liver fibrosis check using the…
BACKGROUND: Favorable association between modest alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease had been reported in general population, however, whether observed benefit extend to men with established fatty liver disease remains unknown. METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 10,581 consecutive male participants aged 30 years or older undergoing abdominal ultrasonography and carotid artery ultrasonography were screened. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) was diagnosed with ultrasonography and exclusion of secondary causes for fat accumulation or other causes of chronic liver disease. Modest alcohol use was defined as consumption of less than 20 g of alcohol per day. RESULTS: There were total 2280 men diagnosed with fatty liver, and the mean age was 51.8 years old. Among them, 1797 were modest alcohol drinkers. The prevalence of…
OBJECTIVES: We tested the hypothesis that alcohol, alone and in combination with alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) 1B and ADH1C genotypes, affects liver damage and disease in the general population. METHODS: Information on alcohol intake and on liver disease was obtained from 9,080 men and women from the Copenhagen City Heart Study. Biochemical tests for the detection of liver damage were specific for alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST)-to-ALT ratio (AST/ALT), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (gamma-GT), albumin, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, coagulation factors, and erythrocyte volume. RESULTS: Increasing alcohol intake was associated with increasing erythrocyte volume, AST/ALT, and levels of ALT, gamma-GT, albumin, bilirubin, coagulation factors, and with decreasing levels of alkaline phosphatase. Multifactorially adjusted hazard ratios for alcoholic liver disease overall were 0.9 (95%…
BACKGROUND: Excessive alcohol use has been reported to be responsible for 80 000 annual deaths in the United States. However, the exact cause of death related to the excessive use of alcohol has not been fully explored. AIM: To assess the effect of alcoholic liver disease (ALD) on all-cause, liver-related and cardiovascular mortality using population-based data. METHODS: Data were obtained from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) Linked Mortality Files. Alcohol consumption was estimated as grams per day. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards model was utilised to assess the effects of ALD on follow-up time to mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease and liver disease. RESULTS: A total of 8,306 participants were included [ALD (n = 148)].…
BACKGROUND: The impact of moderate alcohol consumption on long-term outcomes of chronic hepatitis C (CH-C) infected patients remains controversial. AIM: To assess the impact of moderate alcohol consumption on long-term outcomes of CH-C patients using population-based data. METHODS: Data were obtained from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III)-mortality linked files. Alcohol consumption was estimated as grams/day. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards model was utilized to assess the effects of CH-C and alcohol consumption on mortality (all causes, cardiovascular disease, and liver disease). RESULTS: A total of 8985 participants were included as the study cohort. Of these, 218 had CH-C. The follow-up time was 162.95 months for CH-C and 178.27 months for controls. CH-C patients had increased risk…
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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.