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: 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.…
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.…
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Increasingly populations are both overweight/obese and consume alcohol. The risk of liver disease from the combination of these factors is unclear. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to address this important gap in evidence. Protocol registered with PROSPERO(CRD42016046508). METHODS: We performed electronic searches of Ovid Medline, Embase Classic + Embase, until 17th June 2020 for cohort studies of adults without pre-existing liver disease. Primary outcome was morbidity/mortality from chronic liver disease. Exposures were alcohol consumption categorised as within or above UK recommended limits (14 units/112 g per week) and BMI categorised as normal, overweight or obese. Non-drinkers were excluded. A Poisson regression log-linear model was used to test for statistical interaction between alcohol and BMI and…
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Only a minority of heavy drinkers progress to alcohol-associated cirrhosis (ALC). The aim of this study was to identify common genetic variants that underlie risk for ALC. APPROACH AND RESULTS: We analyzed data from 1,128 subjects of European ancestry with ALC and 614 heavy-drinking subjects without known liver disease from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and three countries in Europe. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed, adjusting for principal components and clinical covariates (alcohol use, age, sex, body mass index, and diabetes). We validated our GWAS findings using UK Biobank. We then performed a meta-analysis combining data from our study, the UK Biobank, and a previously published GWAS. Our GWAS found genome-wide significant risk…
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…
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