What is Hepatitis

 How is it Transmitted

 Long Term Prognosis

 Complications of HCV

 Liver Biopsy

 Treatment Info (Interferon, Herbal, etc)

 Lab Tests (PCR, Genotype,etc.)

 Nutrition & Alternative Info

 Patient Information (Support Groups, Doctor Listing, etc)

 Related Webpages

 Transplant Info

 Site Search

 HCV Webrings

 My guestbookbook

 Site Awards

 FAQ & Disclaimers

Synergism Exists Between HCV and Alcoholism

June 24, 1996.

Risk Factors (Liver Disease); Synergism Exists Between HCV and Alcoholism.Hepatitis Weekly via Individual Inc:
Hepatitis C virus exacerbates the liver damage caused by alcohol-related disease, according to a report from Taiwan. "Our data suggest that the presence of hepatitis C virus infection exerts a multiplicative synergistic effect for alcohol-related impaired liver functionand that chronic hepatitis C virus hepatitis may increase the liver damage in alcoholic cases with liver disease," researcher Chen- Tang Shen and colleagues wrote ("Alcoholism, Hepatitis B and C Viral Infections, and Impaired Liver Function among Taiwanese Aboriginal Groups," American Journal of Epidemiology, May 1, 1996;143(9):936-942). Viral hepatitis and alcoholism are prevalent in four major Taiwanese aboriginal groups.

In this study, Chen-Tang Shen and colleagues examined the relative importance of the acquisition of hepatitis B or C virus infection and alcoholism to the presence of impaired liver function in these groups.

Shen et al. conducted a semistructured clinical interview for alcoholism and tested for seromarkers of viral hepati- tis among 993 people enrolled in an ongoing prospective study between 1990 and 1992 (Taiwan Aboriginal Study Project).

The subjects' blood specimens were tested for serum alan- ine aminotransferase/aspartate aminotransferase levels and for the presence of hepatitis B surface antigen and anti-hepatitis C virus antibody. The prevalence of a combination of an alanine aminotransferase level of more than 35 IU/liter and an aspartate aminotransferase levels of more than 40 IU/liter, implying impaired liver function or advanced liver disease, was 4.3 percent overall. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analysis showed that hepatitis C virus infection and alcoholism were the two dominant risk factors that signalled the risk of liver damage among these Taiwanese aborigines. In addition, these two contributing factors were able to act synergistically to cause impaired liver function.Shen et al. suggested that this synergism may result from the damaging of hepatic cells by early infection with hepatitis viruses followed by impaired wound healing response to liver regeneration caused by long-term alcohol consumption.

"It was recently shown that habitual alcoholic drinking was able to increase hepatitis C virus RNA levels in serum (which indicates the proliferation of hepatitis C virus), subsequently resulting in the progression of liver damage," Shen et al. wrote. "The extremely high prevalence of alcoholism and relatively high rate of hepatitis C virus infection in our aboriginal communities make it likely that the contributions of both factors to the risks of elevated levels of alanine aminotransferase/aspartate aminotransferase and other liver diseases are much more important than in other populations.

"We are conducting prospective studies to understand the subtle interactions between excessive alcohol drinking and viral hepatitis and the genetic and environmental factors that may contribute to impaired liver function and liver diseases in these aboriginal populations."

The corresponding author for this study is Andrew Cheng, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan. - by Salynn Boyles, Senior Editor

Home | What is HCV | Transmission | Future | Complications | Biopsy | Treatment | Lab | Nutrition | Patient | Links | Transplant | Webrings | guestbookbook | Awards | FAQ |