Effect of body mass index and alcohol consumption on liver disease: analysis of data from two prospective cohort studies

Hart, C.L. , Morrison, D.S., Batty, G.D., Mitchell, R.J. and Davey Smith, G. (2010) Effect of body mass index and alcohol consumption on liver disease: analysis of data from two prospective cohort studies. British Medical Journal, 340, c1240. (doi:10.1136/bmj.c1240)

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Abstract

Objective To investigate whether alcohol consumption and raised body mass index (BMI) act together to increase risk of liver disease. Design Analysis of data from prospective cohort studies. Setting Scotland. Participants Data were from two of the Midspan prospective cohort studies (9559 men): "Main" study 1965-8, participants from workplaces across central belt of Scotland, population of island of Tiree, and mainland relatives, and "Collaborative" study, 1970-3, participants from 27 workplaces in Glasgow, Clydebank, and Grangemouth. Follow-up was to 31 December 2007 (median 29 years, range 0.13-42). We divided participants into nine groups based on measures of body mass index (BMI) (underweight/normal weight <25, overweight 25 to <30, and obese >= 30) and alcohol consumption (none, 1-14, and >= 15 units per week). Main outcome measures Liver disease morbidity and mortality. Results 80 (0.8%) men died with liver disease as the main cause and 146 (1.5%) with liver disease as any cause. In the Collaborative study, 196 men (3.3%) had liver disease defined by a death, admission, or cancer registration. BMI and alcohol consumption were strongly associated with liver disease mortality in analyses adjusted for other confounders (P=0.001 and P<0.0001 respectively). Drinkers of 15 or more units per week in any BMI category and obese drinkers had raised relative rates for all definitions of liver disease, compared with underweight/normal weight non-drinkers. Drinkers of 15 or more units per week had adjusted relative rates for liver disease mortality of 3.16 (95% confidence interval 1.28 to 7.8) for underweight/normal weight men, 7.01 (3.02 to 16.3) for overweight, and 18.9 (6.84 to 52.4) for obese men. The relative rate for obese men who consumed 1-14 units per week was 5.3 (1.36 to 20.7). The relative excess risk due to interaction between BMI and alcohol consumption was 5.58 (1.09 to 10.1); synergy index=2.89 (1.29 to 6.47). Conclusions Raised BMI and alcohol consumption are both related to liver disease, with evidence of a supra-additive interaction between the two. The occurrence of both factors in the same populations should inform health promotion and public health policies

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Professor Richard and Morrison, Dr David and Hart, Dr Carole and Davey Smith, Professor George and Batty, Dr G
Authors: Hart, C.L., Morrison, D.S., Batty, G.D., Mitchell, R.J., and Davey Smith, G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:British Medical Journal
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0959-535X
ISSN (Online):1756-1833
Published Online:01 January 2010
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2010 The Authors
First Published:First published in British Medical Journal 340:c1240
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under Creative Commons License

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