The authors state there has been no large-scale longitudinal study addressing an impact of alcohol consumption on a development of fatty liver diagnosed by ultrasonography. The researchers therefore investigated the impact of alcohol consumption on a natural history of fatty liver, analysing 5,437 apparently healthy Japanese who received the health checkup programmes repeatedly over 10 years.
Standardised questionnaires were used to address the medical history and lifestyle and a standardised ultrasonographic diagnosis was used to identify fatty liver. The total amount of alcohol consumed per week was calculated and classified into four grades; none or minimal, light, moderate, or heavy alcohol consumption (<40, 40–140, 140–280 or >280g/ week, respectively). The hazard risks of alcohol consumption for the development of fatty liver were calculated by Cox hazard model after adjusting age, BMI, and parameters for lifestyle.
During 10 years of follow-up, fatty liver was continuously diagnosed in 10% of men and 20% of women with fatty liver at the baseline. In men, the adjusted hazard risks of light and moderate alcohol consumption for the development of fatty liver were 0.72 (95% confidence interval 0.60–0.86, P<0.001) and 0.69 (0.57–0.84, P<0.001), respectively. However, they were not significant in women.
The authors conclude that new onset of fatty liver was significantly repressed in apparently healthy men who consume light to moderate alcohol.
Source: The modest alcohol consumption reduces the incidence of fatty liver in men: a population-based large-scale cohort study Yoshitaka Hashimoto, Masahide Hamaguchi, Takao Kojima, Yasuhiro Ohshima, Akihiro Ohbora, Takahiro Kato, Naoto Nakamura and Michiaki Fukui. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Volume 30, Issue 3, pages 546–552, March 2015.