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Presse Med. 2008 Sep;37(9):1274-80. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2007.12.011. Epub 2008 Apr 3.

[Managing comorbidities in hepatology: toward a more holistic medicine].

[Article in French]

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Service hépato-gastroentérologie, Hôpital du Haut Lévêque, F-33604 Pessac, France.


Approximately 20% of patients infected with the hepatitis B or C virus (HBV and HCV) develop cirrhosis of the liver. It is essential, especially for preventive purposes, to test for related etiological factors, especially excess alcohol consumption, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. The frequency of these health problems and their hepatic tropism explain these frequent associations. In patients with chronic HBV and HCV, alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome increase the risk of fibrosis; in those with HCV, they also reduce the likelihood of treatment response. In patients with alcoholic hepatitis, overweight increases cirrhotic risk. If cytolysis persists after the identified factor is controlled, another etiologic factor must be sought and treated. For patients with excess alcohol consumption and similarly those with metabolic syndrome, it is essential to differentiate between dependency, which is more difficult to treat, and other risk situations, for which the efficacy of a brief intervention by the physician has been demonstrated. In this more holistic approach, the physician treats a person with liver disease, rather than just a diseased liver.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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