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Int J Epidemiol. 1991 Dec;20(4):1037-42.

Alcohol consumption and non-cirrhotic chronic hepatitis: a case-control study.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Public Health, University of L'Aquila, Italy.


We carried out a hospital-based case-control study to assess the association of both the daily amount and the duration of alcohol intake with the risk of developing non-cirrhotic chronic liver disease (chronic hepatitis) in 121 chronic hepatitis patients diagnosed by laparoscopy and liver biopsy, and in 242 matched 'controls' randomly selected from inpatients of the same hospital. Alcohol intake was quantified in all subjects using a standardized questionnaire administered by two doctors unaware of the aim of the study. The odds ratio (OR) for chronic hepatitis was estimated by conditional logistic regression and increased exponentially from 1.0 for non-drinkers to 11.4 for daily alcohol intake of 325 g or more. Considering duration of alcohol consumption from up to 10 to up to 30 years, the ORs for chronic hepatitis consistently decreased for the daily alcohol intake categories of 25-50 g (from 74.1 to 0.7 respectively), 75-100 g (from 149.7 to 0.7 respectively) and 125 g or more (from 212.0 to 1.8 respectively). Our results suggest the existence of a dose-dependent individual susceptibility to the damaging effect of alcohol on the liver.

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