Consuming alcohol as a teen increases your risk of liver disease as an adult

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden has found a link between alcohol consumption early in life and a greater risk for severe liver disease later on. The study was published in the Journal of Hepatology.

  • For the study, the researchers analyzed data on alcohol intake of more than 40,000 men, aged 18 to 20, who were enlisted for military service in Sweden between 1969 and 1970.
  • After almost 40 years of follow-up, the researchers discovered that alcohol intake was a key risk factor for developing a severe liver disease, as 383 men developed a severe liver disease.
  • The risk of developing severe liver disease was dose-dependent. Men who consumed more than 30 grams of alcohol per day, which is the current guidelines for safe alcohol intake in men, were at a greater risk. The increased risk was most evident in men who consumed two or more drinks per day.
  • The researchers also suggested that current recommendations for safe alcohol intake in men might need to be revised.

Based on the findings of the study, the researchers concluded that people who consumed high amounts of alcohol during their late adolescence are more likely to have a greater risk of severe liver disease later in life.

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Journal Reference:

Hagstrom H, Hemmingsson T, Discacciati A, Andreasson A. ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION IN LATE ADOLESCENCE IS ASSOCIATED WITH AN INCREASED RISK OF SEVERE LIVER DISEASE LATER IN LIFE. Journal of Hepatology. March 2018; 68(3): 505-510. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhep.2017.11.019

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