Alcohol Consumption and Viral Hepatitis in Chronic Liver Disease in Lagos
Background: Precise assessment of the risks and interactions of alcohol consumption and viral hepatitis in the aetiology of chronic liver disease [CLD] are not locally available. Methodology: 74 patients with CLD and 74 controls were evaluated for Hepatitis B and C infection [anti-HCV, HBsAg]. The type and amount of alcohol consumed was ascertained using a questionnaire and the percentage alcohol content was calculated and reported in grams. Results: Significant alcohol consumption increases the risk of both liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. [OR=4.7, p=0.03 and OR=8.l, p=0.001 respectively]. Persons chronically infected with HBV who drink alcohol regularly have a 23 fold risk of CLD [p=<0.001] compared with subjects who either drinks [3 fold, p=0.02] or is HBV infected [7 fold, p=0.0001]. Conclusion: Alcohol is an independent risk factor for CLD and appears to act in synergy with viral hepatitis B infection to potentate the risk of chronic liver disease.
NQJHM Vol. 14 (1) 2004: pp. 5-7