In February 2019 researchers from Sweden and Australia published their study to assess whether type and pattern of alcohol consumption early in life could predict the development of severe liver disease. 43,242 adolescent men conscripted to military service in Sweden in 1970 were assessed and information on total amount and type of alcohol (wine, beer, and spirits) and risky behaviour associated with heavy drinking collected. Information on diagnosis of severe liver disease (defined as cirrhosis, decompensated liver disease, liver failure, hepatocellular carcinoma, or prematurely dying from a liver-related condition) was collected via population-based registers. During follow-up, 392 men developed severe liver disease. Results showed that there appeared to be an increased risk for severe liver disease in men who reported drinking alcohol to alleviate a hangover (“eye-opener”) and men who reported having been apprehended for being drunk but not for any other risk behaviors. Wine consumption did not appear to be associated with any reduced risk for severe liver disease compared to beer and spirits.
Hagström H et al. Risk Behaviors Associated with Alcohol Consumption Predict Future Severe Liver Disease. Dig Dis Sci. 2019 Feb 14. [Epub ahead of print]