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Thursday 20th October 2016

Obese drinkers at high risk of cirrhosis

15th March 2010

According to the results of two UK studies, being obese and drinking alcohol increases the danger of cirrhosis and other liver problems.


One study found that women who consumed moderate quantities of alcohol and were obese had nearly twice the risk of liver disease compared to other women. The other study found the same problem occurred with obese men.

Researchers at the University of Oxford looked at over a million women in England for the first study.

In females who said they drank one third to one half units a day, 0.8 in 1,000 will get liver cirrhosis over five years if their weight was within healthy limits, compared to 1 in 1,000 women who were obese.

In females who consumed 2.5 units a day, 2.7 in 1,000 will get liver cirrhosis over five years if their weight was within healthy limits, in comparison to 5 in 1,000 women who were obese.

Dr Bette Liu of Oxford's Cancer Epidemiology Unit said: "We estimate that almost 20% of liver cirrhosis in middle-aged UK women is due to excess weight, while almost 50% is due to alcohol consumption."

In the next study, researchers looked at 9,000 men in Scotland. They found that obese males who drank 15 units a week or more had the highest danger of liver disease; almost 19 times greater than men of normal weight.

Lead author Dr Carole Hart of the University of Glasgow said: "Further research might show that there could be different limits more applicable to overweight and obese people."


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