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.
26 May 2021 In Liver Disease
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 association of rs738409 in patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 3 (PNPLA3) (odds ratio [OR] = 2.19 [G allele], P = 4.93 x 10(-17) ) and rs4607179 near HSD17B13 (OR = 0.57 [C allele], P = 1.09 x 10(-10) ) with ALC. Conditional analysis accounting for the PNPLA3 and HSD17B13 loci identified a protective association at rs374702773 in Fas-associated factor family member 2 (FAF2) (OR = 0.61 [del(T) allele], P = 2.56 x 10(-8) ) for ALC. This association was replicated in the UK Biobank using conditional analysis (OR = 0.79, P = 0.001). Meta-analysis (without conditioning) confirmed genome-wide significance for the identified FAF2 locus as well as PNPLA3 and HSD17B13. Two other previously known loci (SERPINA1 and SUGP1/TM6SF2) were also genome-wide significant in the meta-analysis. GeneOntology pathway analysis identified lipid droplets as the target for several identified genes. In conclusion, our GWAS identified a locus at FAF2 associated with reduced risk of ALC among heavy drinkers. Like the PNPLA3 and HSD17B13 gene products, the FAF2 product has been localized to fat droplets in hepatocytes. CONCLUSIONS: Our genetic findings implicate lipid droplets in the biological pathway(s) underlying ALC.
26 May 2021 In Liver Disease
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 to conduct a one-stage meta-analysis. RESULTS: Searches identified 3129 studies-16 were eligible. Of these, nine cohorts (1,121,514 participants) had data available and were included in the analysis. The Poisson model showed no significant statistical interaction between alcohol consumption and BMI on the risk of chronic liver disease. Compared to normal weight participants drinking alcohol within UK recommended limits, relative risk of chronic liver disease in overweight participants drinking above limits was 3.32 (95% CI 2.88 to 3.83) and relative risk in obese participants drinking above limits was 5.39 (95% CI 4.62 to 6.29). CONCLUSIONS: This meta-analysis demonstrated a significantly increased risk of chronic liver disease in participants who were both overweight/obese and consumed alcohol above UK recommended limits. This evidence should inform advice given to patients and risk stratification by healthcare professionals.
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