Even a small dose of alcohol can damage patients with chronic viral hepatitis


A research team of Samsung Medical Center recently reported the different mortality risks based on frequency and dose of drinking between normal people and patients with chronic viral hepatitis. The impact of a small dose of alcohol on patients with the disease was unknown before now.


Based on the national cohort provided by the National Health Insurance Corporation, the research team separated 364,361 people in their 40s and above who had medical checkups and without a history of cancer. The subjects were divided into the normal group and chronic viral hepatitis group and they were assessed, with regard to the frequency and amount of their alcohol consumption. In compliance with the guidelines of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, the dose of alcohol was classified as follows: Light dose – F: below 10g, M: below 20g, Moderate dose – F: below 40g, M: below 60g, Problematic dose – F: 40g and above, M: 60g and above. The consequent mortality rates were then measured.


According to the team, patients with the chronic disease are 10.85 times riskier than normal people to die of liver cancer or hepatic diseases. The analysis based on the alcohol dose and frequency demonstrated the higher mortality risks in the viral hepatitis group.


To be specific, the risks were 19% higher for light drinkers, 23% for moderate drinkers and particularly for heavy drinkers, the risks were 69% higher when compared with nondrinkers.


The study has been published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology (IF= 10.171) which has a high impact factor in its field.