People who start drinking early in life are at risk of developing liver problems as adults, according to a study. Alcohol is the leading cause of liver cirrhosis and liver-related deaths. The results of the large long-term study in Sweden suggest that guidelines for safe drinking of alcohol in men should be revised downwards.
Current recommended cut levels in some countries suggest that safe alcohol consumption for men avoids alcoholic liver disease is 30 grams per day, approximately equivalent to three drinks. "Our study showed that the amount you drink in your adolescence can predict the risk of developing cirrhosis later in life," explains lead researcher Hannes Hagstrom. "However, what can be considered a safe cut in men is less clear."
Researchers conducted a retrospective study to evaluate the association between alcohol consumption at an early age and the subsequent development of severe liver disease. They used data from a national population-based study conducted during 1969-1970 of all Swedish men recruited for military service.
The risk was dose-dependent, with no signs of a threshold effect and was more pronounced in men who consumed two drinks per day, about 20 grams or more. Before adjustment for body mass index, tobacco consumption, narcotics use, cardiovascular fitness and cognitive ability, the risk was significant for daily alcohol consumption of only 6 grams per day. These results are only valid for men and should be validated in women.
"If these results lead to decreased levels of cut for a safe alcohol consumption in men, and if men follow the recommendations, we can see a reduced incidence of liver disease." alcoholic in the future, "says Dr. Hagstrom.
Alexandre Louvet, MD, PhD, Service of diseases of the digestive system, Hopital Huriez, Lille, France, observes in an accompanying editorial that despite the great burden of the disease, there are no approved treatments for alcoholic liver disease.
"This study adds to our knowledge about the risks of chronic alcohol consumption at a younger age," says Dr. Louvet. "Safe levels of alcohol consumption should be reviewed for the general population and public health policies should be adapted accordingly." The general recommendations of physicians should be accompanied by alcohol control policies, especially access to alcohol, prices and publicity, education and information alone are not enough to reduce alcohol consumption in the general population, and interventions aimed at identifying and advising excessive drinkers are useful at the individual level. "
] According to the 2014 World Health Status Report of the World Health Organization on alcohol and health, alcohol-related cirrhosis is responsible for 4,93,300 deaths each year. Although there is no approved treatment, the disease related to alcohol is theoretically 100% preventable, which makes the role of preventive measures essential to reduce the impact of excessive alcohol consumption in society. The study has been polished in the Journal of Hepatology.
Follow @htlifeandstyle for more information