[Alcoholic liver diseases and hepatitis virus C in Japan]

Nihon Arukoru Yakubutsu Igakkai Zasshi. 2006 Oct;41(5):424-30.
[Article in Japanese]


Recently incidence of alcoholic liver disease (ALD) has been increasing in Japan associated with an increase in alcoholic beverage consumption. There have been a large number of reports about the relationship between alcohol and hepatocarcinogenesis, but it remains controversial. In the present study, we addressed the recent trend in incidence of ALD including liver cirrhosis (LC), and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in heavy drinkers in Japan. We carried out nation-wide survey by asking for the hospitals that are approved by the Japanese Society of Gastroenterology for recent aspects of in-patients with ALD. Except for HCC, percentage of ALD without viral hepatitis is more than 70%, which is increased when compared to the national survey carried out in 1992. In alcoholic LC patients, those who did not have viral hepatitis were 81%. However, the percentage of HCC without viral hepatitis was 34% of all of the heavy drinkers with HCC. Regarding the case in our university hospital, 138 cases (32%) of 432 patients with HCC were heavy drinkers. However, regarding in our general hospital, 15 cases of 23 patients with HCC (61%) were heavy drinkers. In conclusion, since the consumption of alcohol is increasing in Japan, the frequency and number of cases of alcoholic liver cirrhosis are increasing. Viral hepatitis infection, however, still plays an important role in hepatocarcinogenesis in heavy drinkers.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / etiology*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis C / complications
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / epidemiology*
  • Liver Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Liver Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Male
  • Prevalence