Alcohol consumption and the risk of cirrhosis

Med J Aust. 1992 Mar 16;156(6):413-6. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.1992.tb139846.x.


Objective: To determine risk levels for the development of cirrhosis in Australian men who consume alcohol and to compare this risk with that of Australian women.

Design and setting: A case-control study using an interview technique, based in two major tertiary referral hospitals in Sydney.

Patients: Forty-three men with newly diagnosed cirrhosis of the liver and a total of 115 male control subjects, age matched with the case subjects. The data for women (36 cases and 99 controls) have been reported previously.

Results: The risk of men developing cirrhosis increases significantly above the baseline when the alcohol intake exceeds 40 g per day. The risk to women is significant at a similar intake level. Dietary intake and past major illnesses appear to have no role in determining risk.

Conclusion: The recommended safe drinking level for men and women should be 40 g per day, as suggested by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Australia
  • Biopsy
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / diagnosis
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / etiology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors