Serious Liver Disease Linked to Obesity and Alcohol Use
Two new studies suggest that people who are overweight or obese and consume too much alcohol have a high risk of developing serious liver disease that could lead to death.
The first study involved more than 107,000 women in the United Kingdom who were classified according to body mass index (BMI, a measure of body fat) and alcohol consumption. The results of the study, which were recently presented at the International Liver Congress in the Netherlands showed that women who were overweight or obese and drank more than six pints of beer or nine small glasses of wine weekly were most likely to have chronic liver disease than other participants.
Dr. Daniele Prati, a member of the scientific committee of the European Association for the Study of the Liver states that these findings will impact how health care givers can help people around the world who are at risk of developing liver disease. He adds that women are particularly at risk since they are twice as sensitive as men to liver damage related to alcohol consumption. They also have a higher risk of developing a more severe form of liver disease at lower doses and shorter durations of alcohol consumption.
The second study, which was also presented at the Congress, looked into the risk of liver cancer in patients who underwent liver transplants because of alcoholic end-stage liver disease. Researchers found that liver cancer occurred in 54% of patients who had a history of being overweight and in 43% of those with diabetes, compared with 14% of patients who were not overweight and 22% of those without diabetes. They also found that patients who had alcoholic cirrhosis and fatty liver, obesity or type 2 diabetes had a higher risk of developing liver cancer compared to those who did not have these conditions.
Preidt, R. Too Much Drinking, Weight May Harm Liver. MSN.