26 January 2022 In Liver Disease

The diagnosis of metabolic-associated fatty liver disease is based on the detection of liver steatosis together with the presence of metabolic dysfunction. According to this new definition, the diagnosis of metabolic-associated fatty liver disease is independent of the amount of alcohol consumed.

Actually, alcohol and its metabolites have various effects on metabolic-associated abnormalities during the process of alcohol metabolism. Studies have shown improved metabolic function in light to moderate alcohol drinkers. There are several studies focusing on the role of light to moderate alcohol intake on metabolic dysfunction.

However, the results from studies are diverse, and the conclusions are often controversial. This review systematically discusses the effects of alcohol consumption, focusing on light to moderate alcohol consumption, obesity, lipid and glucose metabolism, and blood pressure.

26 January 2022 In Liver Disease

OBJECTIVES: Liver disease is a leading cause of premature death, partly driven by the increasing incidence of non-alcohol-related fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Many people with a diagnosis of NAFLD drink moderate amounts of alcohol. There is limited guidance for clinicians looking to advise these patients on the effect this will have on their liver disease progression. This review synthesises the evidence on moderate alcohol consumption and its potential to predict liver disease progression in people with diagnosed NAFLD.

METHODS: A systematic review of longitudinal observational cohort studies was conducted. Databases (Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library and ClinicalTrials.gov) were searched up to September 2020. Studies were included that reported progression of liver disease in adults with NAFLD, looking at moderate levels of alcohol consumption as the exposure of interest. Risk of bias was assessed using the Quality in Prognostic factor Studies tool.

RESULTS: Of 4578 unique citations, 6 met the inclusion criteria. Pooling of data was not possible due to heterogeneity and studies were analysed using narrative synthesis. Evidence suggested that any level of alcohol consumption is associated with worsening of liver outcomes in NAFLD, even for drinking within recommended limits. Well conducted population based studies estimated up to a doubling of incident liver disease outcomes in patients with NAFLD drinking at moderate levels.

CONCLUSIONS: This review found that any level of alcohol intake in NAFLD may be harmful to liver health.Study heterogeneity in definitions of alcohol exposure as well as in outcomes limited quantitative pooling of results. Use of standardised definitions for exposure and outcomes would support future meta-analysis.Based on this synthesis of the most up to date longitudinal evidence, clinicians seeing patients with NAFLD should currently advise abstinence from alcohol.

PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: The protocol was registered with PROSPERO (#CRD42020168022).

23 September 2021 In Liver Disease

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: There is no consensus regarding modest alcohol consumption in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) due to conflicting results. The aim of this meta-analysis was to examine the effects of modest alcohol consumption on histological severity, histological course, hepatocellular carcinoma, and long-term clinical outcomes in NAFLD patients.

METHODS: We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE databases from inception to October 2020 for studies evaluating the effects of modest alcohol consumption among patients with NAFLD. A random-effects meta-analysis using pooled odds ratio (OR) and hazard ratio (HR) was calculated with 95% confidence interval (CI). Study quality was assessed with the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.

RESULTS: Fourteen cross-sectional or cohort studies with aggregate data on 14,435 patients were included in the analysis. Modest alcohol consumption resulted in lower risks for steatohepatitis (OR 0.59; 95% CI 0.45-0.78; I (2) = 12%) and advanced fibrosis (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.36-0.95; I (2) = 75%). Histological follow-up data showed that modest alcohol use was associated significantly with less steatohepatitis resolution but not with fibrosis progression. The HR for developing hepatocellular carcinoma was 3.77 (95% CI 1.75-8.15; I (2) = 0%). NAFLD patients with modest alcohol intake had a lower mortality risk than lifelong abstainers (HR 0.85; 95% CI 0.75-0.95; I (2) = 64%).

CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis suggests that medical advice for modest alcohol drinking should be made cautiously in caring for an individual patient based on the clinical context. Practically, patients with steatohepatitis or advanced fibrosis should avoid alcohol use, whereas patients with low fibrosis risk may be allowed for modest and safe drinking.

23 September 2021 In Liver Disease

BACKGROUND: Recent studies have suggested an association between modest alcohol consumption and a decreased risk of advanced liver fibrosis among patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) although the results are inconsistent. The current systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to comprehensively investigate this possible association by identifying all the relevant studies and combining their results.

METHODS: A comprehensive literature review was conducted utilizing the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases through February 2019 to identify all cross-sectional studies that compared the prevalence of advanced liver fibrosis among NAFLD patients who were modest alcohol drinkers to NAFLD patients who were non-drinkers. Effect estimates from each study were extracted and combined together using the random-effect, generic inverse variance method of DerSimonian and Laird.

RESULTS: A total of 6 studies with 8,936 participants fulfilled the eligibility criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. The risk of advanced liver fibrosis among patients with NAFLD who were modest alcohol drinkers was significantly lower compared to patients with NAFLD who were non-drinkers with a pooled odds ratio of 0.51 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.35-0.75; I(2) 47%). The funnel plot was symmetric and was not suggestive of publication bias.

CONCLUSION: A significantly lower risk of advanced liver fibrosis was observed among NAFLD patients who were modest alcohol drinkers compared to non-drinkers in this meta-analysis.

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