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Study examines the effect of alcohol consumption on survival in non-alcoholic fatty liver


Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), which is not caused by significant alcohol consumption, has become the most common liver disease in the United States and comprises more than two thirds of patients with chronic liver disease. In a Hepatology study of patients with NAFLD, modest alcohol consumption was associated with a 36% decreased risk of early death, while drinking 1.5 or more drinks per day was associated with a 45% increased risk, after adjustments.

"Although alcohol is a known liver toxin, the results of our study suggest a benefit from modest drinking in patients with a common form of liver disease called non-alcoholic fatty liver. However, the effects of alcohol on overall health and risk of death are complex and vary greatly with the amount of alcohol consumption and pre-existing medical conditions, so patients should discuss drinking alcohol with their doctors rather than assuming that the findings of any given study apply to them," said lead author Dr. Kaveh Hajifathalian, of Weill Cornell Medicine, New York-Presbyterian Hospital.


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