Epidemiology of alcoholic liver disease in Denmark 2006-2011: a population-based study

Alcohol Alcohol. 2015 May;50(3):352-7. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agv003. Epub 2015 Feb 13.


Aims: To describe incidence, prevalence, hospitalization rates and survival for alcoholic liver disease (ALD) in Denmark 2006-2011.

Methods: Using nationwide healthcare registries we identified all Danish residents with a hospital diagnosis of ALD and computed standardized incidence, prevalence, and hospitalization rates in 2006-2011, age- and birth cohort-specific incidence for the 1930-1974 birth cohorts, and 1- and 5-year survival.

Results: In 2006-2011, the overall standardized ALD incidence decreased from 343 to 311 per 1,000,000 population per year. ALD incidence increased among women aged 65 years or older, but decreased in younger persons and men. Persons born in 1950-1959 had higher age-specific incidence than earlier and later birth cohorts. The prevalence (0.2% of the Danish adult population) and hospitalization rate were constant. The 1- and 5-year survival were 43 and 70%, respectively.

Conclusion: In Denmark, persons born in 1950-1959 have had the highest age-specific incidence. The overall ALD incidence has been decreasing (along with per capita consumption). Despite increases in affordability during the study period, Denmark did not experience the increase in ALD seen, for example, in the UK. It is possible that this is due to the greater impact of government recommendations on safer drinking in Denmark than the UK.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Fatty Liver, Alcoholic / epidemiology*
  • Fatty Liver, Alcoholic / mortality
  • Female
  • Hepatitis, Alcoholic / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis, Alcoholic / mortality
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / epidemiology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / mortality
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / epidemiology
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Registries*
  • Sex Distribution