Which factors increase the risk for advanced alcoholic liver disease (ALD)?

Updated: Apr 12, 2018
  • Author: Emily Tommolino, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Several risk factors may influence the development of advanced alcoholic liver disease (ALD), including the following:

  • Minimum amounts of alcohol intake associated with an increased risk of ALD range from 40 to 80 g/day for 10-12 years; safe limits for alcohol use are not clearly defined

  • Genetics play a role in alcohol consumption and alcoholism; early data suggested a genetic predisposition to the development of ALD, mostly related to differences in major hepatic enzymes involved in the metabolism of alcohol (eg, alcohol dehydrogenase [ADH], acetaldehyde dehydrogenase [ALDH], and the cytochrome P-450 system [CYP4502E1])

  • Several studies demonstrate a high prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody in patients with ALD, as well as iron overload

  • Obesity and dietary habits have been implicated in individual susceptibility to ALD


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