Author(s): Corrao G, Aric S, Zambon A, Torchio P, Di Orio F
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: Evidence on gender-related differences in susceptibility to alcohol-induced liver diseases is questionable with regard to both methodologic and clinical aspects. With the aim to assess the role of gender in the risk of liver cirrhosis, independently and in combination with known risk factors, data from three case-control studies performed in various Italian areas were analysed. METHODS: The cases were 462 cirrhotic patients (300 men and 162 women) admitted for the first time to hospital for liver decompensation. Controls were 651 patients (355 men and 296 women) admitted to the same hospitals during the same period as the cases, for acute diseases unrelated to alcohol. Alcohol consumption was expressed as lifetime daily alcohol intake. RESULTS: A significant and independent associations between alcohol intake, chronic hepatitis B and C virus infections, and the risk of liver cirrhosis was observed. The effect of alcohol intake was multiplicatively increased in women. The odds ratio (OR) increased from 1.0 (reference category: men, lifetime abstainers) to 31.4 (95\% confidence interval (CI), 10.3-95.8) in men drinking more than 100 g/day of alcohol, and from 2.2 (95\% CI, 1.0-7.1) in abstaining women to 44.8 (95\% CI, 8.2-224.0) in women drinking more than 100 g/day of alcohol. An increased risk of liver cirrhosis associated with female gender independently of alcohol consumption and virus infection was also observed. CONCLUSIONS: A higher susceptibility to alcohol-induced liver diseases was confirmed for women, and an independent effect of female sex on the risk of cirrhosis was observed. Besides alcohol and viruses, some unknown gender-related factor might then be involved in the occurrence of the disease.
This article was published in Scand J Gastroenterol
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics