Epidemic characteristics of alcohol-related liver disease in Asia from 2000 to 2020: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Liver Int. 2022 Aug;42(9):1991-1998. doi: 10.1111/liv.15312. Epub 2022 May 27.


Background and aims: To systematically summarize the prevalence of alcohol-related liver disease (ALD) and the alcohol-attributable proportions of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases in Asia.

Methods: The Embase, PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane, CINAHL, WanfangMed and China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases were searched from 01 January 2000 to 01 December 2021 for reports of ALD prevalence and alcohol-attributable proportions of liver cirrhosis/HCC in Asian populations. Study characteristics were extracted, and meta-analyses were conducted.

Results: Our literature search identified 13 studies reporting the ALD prevalence, 62 studies reporting the alcohol-attributable proportion of liver cirrhosis and 34 studies reporting the alcohol-attributable proportion of HCC. The overall prevalence of ALD was 4.81% (95% confidence interval [CI] 3.67%, 6.09%). The ALD prevalence was higher in men (7.80% [95% CI 5.70%, 10.19%]) than in women (0.88% [95% CI 0.35%, 1.64%]) and increased significantly over time from 3.82% (95% CI 2.74%, 5.07%) between 2000 and 2010 to 6.62% (95% CI 4.97%, 8.50%) between 2011 and 2020. Among 469 640 cases of liver cirrhosis, the pooled alcohol-attributable proportion was 12.57% (95% CI 10.20%, 15.16%). Among 82 615 HCC cases, the pooled alcohol-attributable proportion was 8.30% (95% CI 6.10%,11.21%). Significant regional differences were observed in alcohol-attributable proportions of liver cirrhosis and HCC.

Conclusions: The prevalence of ALD and the proportions of alcohol-related liver cirrhosis and HCC in Asia are lower than those in western populations. However, a gradual increasing trend was observed over the last 21 years. ALD is likely to emerge as a leading cause of chronic liver disease in Asia.

Keywords: alcohol-related liver disease; hepatocellular carcinoma; liver cirrhosis; prevalence.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / epidemiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence