13 October 2020 In Liver Disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide, with a prevalence of 25-30%. Since its first description in 1980, NAFLD has been conceived as a different entity from alcohol-related fatty liver disease (ALD), despite that, both diseases have an overlap in the pathophysiology, share genetic-epigenetic factors, and frequently coexist. Both entities are characterized by a broad spectrum of histological features ranging from isolated steatosis to steatohepatitis and cirrhosis. Distinction between NAFLD and ALD is based on the amount of consumed alcohol, which has been arbitrarily established. In this context, a proposal of positive criteria for NAFLD diagnosis not considering exclusion of alcohol consumption as a prerequisite criterion for diagnosis had emerged, recognizing the possibility of a dual etiology of fatty liver in some individuals. The impact of moderate alcohol use on the severity of NAFLD is ill-defined. Some studies suggest protective effects in moderate doses, but current evidence shows that there is no safe threshold for alcohol consumption for NAFLD. In fact, given the synergistic effect between alcohol consumption, obesity, and metabolic dysfunction, it is likely that alcohol use serves as a significant risk factor for the progression of liver disease in NAFLD and metabolic syndrome. This also affects the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma. In this review, we summarize the overlapping pathophysiology of NAFLD and ALD, the current data on alcohol consumption in patients with NAFLD, and the effects of metabolic dysfunction and overweight in ALD.
09 August 2019 In Liver Disease

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Non-alcoholic and alcohol-related fatty liver disease are overlapping diseases in which metabolic syndrome and alcohol consumption each contribute to progressive liver disease. We aimed to assess the effects of alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome on mortality in individuals with fatty liver. METHODS: We searched the National Health and Nutrition and Examination Survey III for adults (20-74 years old) with hepatic steatosis, detected by ultrasound, for whom mortality and follow-up data were available. We collected data from the alcohol use questionnaire (self-reported number of days a participant drank alcohol; the number of drinks [10 g alcohol] per day on a drinking day; the number of days the participant had 5 or more drinks) and calculated the average amount of alcohol consumption in drinks/day for each participant during the year preceding enrollment. Excessive alcohol consumption for men was >3 drinks/day and for women was >1.5 drinks/day. We also collected clinical data, and mortality data were obtained from the National Death Index. Demographic and clinical parameters were compared among consumption groups using the chi(2) test for independence or survey regression models. We used Cox proportional hazard models to identify independent predictors of all-cause and cause-specific mortality.

RESULTS: The study cohort included 4264 individuals with hepatic steatosis (mean age, 45.9 years; 51% male; 76% white; 46% with metabolic syndrome; 6.2% with excessive alcohol use). There was no significant difference in mean age between individuals with vs without excessive alcohol consumption (P=.65). However, overall mortality was significantly higher among participants with excessive alcohol consumption (32.2%) vs participants with non-excessive alcohol use (22.2%) after mean 20 years of follow up (P=.003), as well as after 5 years of follow up. In multivariate analysis, the presence of metabolic syndrome (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.43; 95% CI, 1.12-1.83) and excessive alcohol consumption (aHR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.21-2.66) were independently associated with an increased risk of death in individuals with hepatic steatosis; any lower average amount of alcohol consumption was not associated with mortality (all P>.60). In a subgroup analysis, the association of excessive alcohol use with mortality was significant in individuals with metabolic syndrome (aHR, 2.46; 95% CI, 1.40-4.32) but not without it (P=.74). CONCLUSION: In review of data from the National Health and Nutrition and Examination Survey III, we associated alcohol consumption with increased mortality in participants with fatty liver and metabolic syndrome. These findings indicate an overlap between non-alcoholic and alcohol-related fatty liver disease.

Contact us

We love your feedback. Get in touch with us.

  • Tel: +32 (0)2 230 99 70
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Disclaimer

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 and Privacy Policy.