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Risk of chronic liver disease in post-menopausal women due to body mass index, alcohol and their interaction

A study investigated the risk of chronic liver disease (CLD) due to alcohol consumption and body mass index (BMI) and the effects of their interaction in a prospective cohort study of women recruited to the UKCTOCS trial.

95,126 post-menopausal women without documented CLD were stratified into 12 groups defined by combinations of BMI (normal, overweight, obese) and alcohol consumption (none, <1-15, 16-20 and ≥21 units/week), and followed for an average of 5.1 years. Hazard ratios (HR) were calculated for incident liver-related events (LRE).

First LREs were reported in 325 (0.34%) participants. Compared to women with normal BMI, the hazard ration (HR) in the overweight group was 1.44 and in the obese group was 2.25 adjusted for alcohol and potential confounders.

Compared to those abstinent from alcohol, HR = 0.70 (95% CI; 0.55-0.88) for <1-15 units/week, 0.93 (95% CI; 0.50-1.73) for 16-20 units/ week and 1.82 (95% CI; 0.97-3.39) for ≥21 units/ week adjusted for BMI and potential confounders. Compared to women with normal BMI drinking no alcohol, HR for LRE in obese women consuming ≥21 units/week was 2.86 (95% CI; 0.67-12.42), 1.58 (95% CI; 0.96-2.61) for obese women drinking <1-15 units/ week and 1.93 (95% CI; 0.66-5.62) in those with normal BMI consuming ≥21 units/week after adjustment for potential confounders. The researchers found no significant interaction between BMI and alcohol.

High BMI and both heavy alcohol consumption and abstinence are risk factors for CLD in postmenopausal women. However, BMI and alcohol do not demonstrate significant interaction in this group, the authors conclude.

Source: Risk of chronic liver disease in post-menopausal women due to body mass index, alcohol and their interaction: a prospective nested cohort study within the United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS). Trembling PM, Apostolidou S, Gentry-Maharaj A, Parkes J, Ryan A, Tanwar S, Burnell M, Jacobs I, Menon U, Rosenberg WM. BMC Public Health. 2017 Jun 28;17(1):603. doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4518-y.

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