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.