Alcoholic Liver Disease

  • J Badenhorst
  • CJ van Rensburg


Alcohol abuse results in a significant health burden in South Africa. With about 50% of men and 30% of women consuming alcohol on a regular basis, alcohol related disease accounted for up to 7% of the total disease burden in South Africa. Nearly 20% of unintentional and 40.9% of intentional injuries is related to alcohol use1 and just under half of all non-natural deaths in South Africa occurred in persons with elevated blood alcohol levels.2 According the World Health Organisation (WHO), adult per capita consumption in South Africa was about 9.5 litres of pure alcohol per year between 2003 and 2005.3 Although this is a relatively low figure compared to developed countries, when it is adjusted to account for the population of nondrinkers, it places the absolute amount consumed by drinkers in South Africa among the highest in the world. Alcohol abuse increases the risk for a wide range of diseases that include esophageal, liver and breast cancer, hypertension, epilepsy and cirrhosis. Of all these conditions, liver disease is the one the is that most strongly associated with excessive alcohol ingestion

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eISSN: 1812-1659