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Nihon Shokakibyo Gakkai Zasshi. 1994 Apr;91(4):887-98.

[A national surveillance study on alcoholic liver disease in Japan (1986-1991)].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Kanazawa Medical University.


National surveillance studies on alcoholic liver disease (ALD) in Japan were performed in 1978 and 1985, by a previous Japanese study group for ALD (Takeuchi group). In the present study, a subsequent nationwide surveillance study was performed from 1986 to 1991 and the results were compared with the previous two studies. In order to clarify the etiological relationships between hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and ALD, an analysis was also done according to the new diagnostic criteria of ALD which was proposed by this group (Takada group). By the criteria of the Takeuchi group, the incidence of ALD was not significantly different during 1986 to 1991. However, the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in alcoholic cirrhosis (AL-LC) clearly increased during this period. The analysis including the results of the previous study indicate that incidence of ALD reached a plateau in 1980 and then features of ALD in Japan entered a stable stage. However, HCC in AL-LC continued to show a linear increase from 1976 to 1991. Analysis with the new criteria of the Takada group was done in cases of 1990 and 1991. Approximately 2 out of 3 cases of ALD were caused by alcohol alone, and the remaining cases were caused by a combination of alcohol and HCV. Cases caused only by HCV were very rare. The main etiology in patients with alcoholic hepatitis and fibrosis was alcohol alone and that in chronic hepatitis of heavy drinkers was a combination of alcohol and HCV. In half of the patients with AL-LC, the etiology was alcohol alone and in the other half patients, it was a combination of both factors. In most patients with HCC, the etiology was a combination of alcohol and HCV, indicating that HCV infection may be important for the development of HCC in alcoholics.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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