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J Hepatol. 1997 Sep;27(3):470-6.

Is alcohol a risk factor for liver cirrhosis in HBsAg and anti-HCV negative subjects? Collaborative Groups for the Study of Liver Diseases in Italy.

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Institute of Statistical and Mathematical Sciences, University of Milan, Italy.



In order to evaluate the association between alcohol intake and the risk of liver cirrhosis in the absence of B and C hepatitis viruses, we analyzed data from three hospital-based case-control studies performed in various Italian areas.


From the case and control series we excluded HBsAg and/or anti-HCV positive patients. Cases were 221 cirrhotic patients admitted for the first time to hospital for liver decompensation. Controls were 614 patients admitted to the same hospitals during the same period as the cases for acute diseases unrelated to alcohol. Alcohol consumption was expressed as lifetime daily alcohol intake (LDAI).


We found a dose-effect relationship between LDAI and the risk of liver cirrhosis (LC). Considering the extreme LDAI categories (LDAI = 0 g: lifetime teetotallers and LDAI > or = 100 g), the LC odds ratio (OR) increased from 1.0 (reference category) to 44.7 (95% confidence interval: 95% CI: 20.0-99.9). An increased risk of LC associated with the female gender independent of alcohol consumption was also observed (OR = 2.9; 95% CI: 1.8-4.6).


Alcohol intake acts as a risk factor for symptomatic liver cirrhosis also in the absence of HBV and/or HCV infection. Besides alcohol and viruses, some unknown gender-related factors might be involved in the occurrence of the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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