The contribution of alcohol to chronic liver disease in patients from South-West Nigeria
Objective: This study aimed at determining the level and type of alcohol consumed by patients diagnosed with chronic liver disease (CLD) and, hence, the extent to which alcohol may have contributed to the development of the condition.
Study Design: Patients with diagnosis ofCLDwere consecutively recruited and a structured questionnaire was administered on each of them. Diagnosis of CLD was made based on liver histology and/or typical clinical and laboratory features.Alcohol consumption was considered significant if a patient took 50g/day for 10 years.
Results: A total of 145 patients were studied consisting of 102 males and 43 females. Their ages ranged from 20- 80 years with a mean of 46.8 ± 15.7 years. Fifty-one (35.2%) patients, all males, drank significant alcohol
while consumption was not significant in 43 (29.6%) patients. Alcohol was not consumed at all by 51 (35.2%) patients made up of 18 males (35.3%) and 33 females (64.7%). Beer was the commonest form of alcohol consumed (70.2%) followed by palm wine (50%) and locally-brewed gin (20.2%).
The diagnoses made were liver cirrhosis [LC] (60, 41.38%), chronic hepatitis [CH] (54, 37.20%), hepatocellular carcinoma [HCC] (23, 15.86%), alcoholic liver disease [ALD] (6, 4.14%) and non-alcoholic
fatty liver disease [NAFLD] (2, 1.38%). The liver disease spectrum did not differ between the patients who drank significant alcohol and those who did not. However, the proportion of LC/HCC cases increased relative
toCHwith increasing age and consumption of alcohol.
Conclusions: The proportion of CLD directly attributable to alcohol (i.e. ALD) is low among the patients studied. However, the burden of LC andHCCis directly related to age and the amount of alcohol consumed and
the determinants of alcohol abuse are gender and affluence.