23 February 2021 In Liver Disease

BACKGROUND: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease worldwide. Whether moderate alcohol consumption plays a role for progression of NAFLD is disputed. Moreover, it is not known which tool is ideal for assessment of alcohol consumption in NAFLD. This study aimed to evaluate if moderate alcohol consumption assessed with different methods, including the biological marker phosphatidylethanol (PEth), is associated with advanced fibrosis in NAFLD.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD. All participants were clinically evaluated with medical history, blood tests, and anthropometric measurements. Alcohol consumption was assessed using PEth in blood, the questionnaire AUDIT-C, and clinical interview.

FINDINGS: 86 patients were included of which 17% had advanced fibrosis. All participants reported alcohol consumption < 140g/week. Average weekly alcohol consumption was higher in the group with advanced fibrosis. Moderate alcohol consumption, independently of the method of assessment, was associated with increased probability of advanced fibrosis (adjusted OR 5.5-9.7, 95% CI 1.05-69.6). Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) consuming moderate amounts of alcohol had a significantly higher rate of advanced fibrosis compared with those consuming low amounts (50.0-60.0% vs. 3.3-21.6%, p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Moderate alcohol consumption, irrespective of assessment method (clinical interview, AUDIT-C, and PEth), was associated with advanced fibrosis. PEth in blood >/= 50ng/mL may be a biological marker indicating increased risk for advanced fibrosis in NAFLD. Patients with T2DM consuming moderate amounts of alcohol had the highest risk of advanced fibrosis, indicating a synergistic effect of insulin resistance and alcohol on the histopathological progression of NAFLD.

23 February 2021 In Liver Disease

OBJECTIVE: To study the interaction of alcohol consumption with body mass index (BMI) in the development of hepatic steatosis and mortality.

PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 18,506 participants without fatty liver disease or cirrhosis at enrollment in the Mayo Clinic Biobank from April 9, 2009, through March 31, 2016. Participants were classified by self-reported alcohol consumption status (nondrinkers, moderate drinkers [0 to 2 drinks per day], and heavy drinkers [>2 drinks per day]). The primary outcome of interest was the incidence of hepatic steatosis, identified by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision code and confirmed with imaging. The secondary outcome of interest was all-cause mortality. Multivariate Cox regression analysis determined the impact of alcohol consumption stratified by BMI on outcomes compared with nondrinkers.

RESULTS: The cohort (mean +/- SD age, 55.8+/-16.9 years; 63.8% female; mean +/- SD BMI, 28.8+/-6.1 kg/m(2)) of 18,506 participants included 3657 (19.8%) nondrinkers, 14,236 (76.9%) moderate drinkers, and 613 (3.3%) heavy drinkers at enrollment. After a median follow-up of 5.8 years (interquartile range, 3.8 to 7.2 years), 684 participants had development of hepatic steatosis and 968 died. In moderate drinkers, the risk of hepatic steatosis development was high in the obese group (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR], 1.31; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.67), insignificant in the overweight group (AHR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.58 to 1.26), and decreased in the normal-BMI group (AHR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.90). Heavy drinkers had an increased risk of hepatic steatosis irrespective of BMI. Moderate alcohol use was associated with decreased mortality in the normal-weight (AHR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.34 to 0.58) and overweight (AHR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.56 to 0.88) groups but not in the obese group (AHR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.64 to 1.00).

CONCLUSION: In obese individuals, even moderate alcohol use is associated with the development of hepatic steatosis. Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with lower mortality in normal-BMI and overweight individuals but not in those who are obese.

23 November 2020 In Liver Disease

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is defined by fat accumulation in liver that is not caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Safe limits of alcohol consumption in NAFLD are usually defined as alcohol consumption of less than 210 g per week for men and 140 g per week for women (30 g/day in men, 20 g/day in women) and alcohol consumption below safe limits is generally regarded as moderate alcohol consumption.

Many studies have investigated the effects of moderate alcohol consumption on NAFLD patients. Some studies showed that moderate alcohol consumption prevented the progression of fibrosis in the liver, whereas other reports showed worsening of fibrosis in the liver based on serologic, radiologic and liver biopsy findings compared with effects on total abstainers.

NAFLD is also thought to be a hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome, and when combined with excessive alcohol consumption results in the development of components of metabolic syndrome and systemic harmful effects. The effects of moderate alcohol consumption on NAFLD have yet to be established.

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.
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