A team from Brisbane, Australia, quantified the contribution of excess alcohol consumption to the development of cirrhosis in hereditary hemochromatosis.
They also determined the range of hepatic iron concentration associated with cirrhosis in the absence of alcohol and other pro-fibrogenic cofactors.
Liver biopsy data were evaluated on 224 C282Y homozygous hemochromatosis subjects.
|Incidence of cirrhosis in hemochromatotics:|
Drank < 60 g alcohol/day: 7%
Drank > 60 g: 61%
| Gastroenterology |
To determine the effect of alcohol alone on the development of fibrosis, subjects with viral hepatitis or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis were excluded.
Subjects were divided into those who consumed less than 60 g alcohol per day and those who consumed 60 g or more per day.
The authors found that 7% of subjects who consumed less than 60 g per day had severe fibrosis/cirrhosis, compared with 61% of excess alcohol consumers.
The range of hepatic iron concentration associated with cirrhosis in the absence of cofactors was found to be 233-675 µmol/g dry weight.
Linda M. Fletcher, of the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, concluded on behalf of her colleagues, "Hemochromatosis subjects who drink more than 60 g alcohol per day are approximately 9 times more likely to develop cirrhosis than those who drink less than this amount."