Moderate alcohol intake is associated with reduced prevalence or incidence of fatty liver. However, whether or not the association is independent of dietary patterns remains unclear. A study evaluated the crosssectional association of alcohol intake with fatty liver accounting for dietary patterns and obesity.
4,579 adults aged 30–79 years who participated in routine clinical examinations in St. Luke’s International Hospital, Japan were assessed for habitual, estimated alcohol intake, and dietary pattern variables using factor analysis. Fatty liver was ascertained using ultrasonography. Linear and U-shaped associations of alcohol intake with fatty liver were evaluated using Poisson regression, and a post hoc analysis was conducted after detecting potential outliers for alcohol intake and excluding
them using sex-specific statistics.
Fatty liver was ascertained in 1120 participants (24.5%). Whereas no significant association of alcohol intake with fatty liver was observed when potential outliers of alcohol intake were included (p = 0.25), a significant U-shaped association was observed after excluding the outliers with and without adjustment for dietary patterns. The lowest prevalence was estimated when alcohol consumption was approximately 7% of energy, with a prevalence ratio of 0.72 compared to non-drinkers. The association became imprecise and attenuated toward the null after further adjustment for body mass index.
Alcohol intake showed a U-shaped association with fatty liver prevalence. This association was
independent of underlying dietary patterns, while it was sensitive to excessive alcohol intake and obesity status, providing clinical implications for the prevention of fatty liver, the authors conclude.
Source: Association of alcohol consumption with prevalence of fatty liver after adjustment for dietary patterns: Cross-sectional analysis of Japanese middleaged adults. R Tajima, Fi Imamura, TKimura, S Kobayashi, K Masuda, K Iida. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Jul;17(8):1625-1633.e1.