Excessive alcohol consumption, genetic variant increasing risk of HCC, mortality in HBV-related cirrhosis

August 09, 2022

1 minute read


Disclosures: Tsai does not report any relevant financial information. Please see the study for relevant financial information from all other authors.


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According to a study published in Open JAMA Network.

As noted earlier, heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of HCC in patients with cirrhosis and HBV infection. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) gene polymorphism has also been reported to play a role in the development of HCC, although study results have been mixed.



Source: Adobe Stock.

Source: Adobe Stock.

“However, the roles of heavy alcohol consumption, ALDH2 rs671 polymorphism, and HBV infection in HCC development and mortality remain unclear and need to be explored,” Ming-Chao Tsai, MD, PhD, from the hepato-gastroenterology department at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan, and colleagues wrote.

Tsai and colleagues retrospectively recruited 1,515 patients (mean age, 49.5 years; 84.3% male) with cirrhosis from three tertiary hospitals in Taiwan – 342 with concurrent heavy alcoholism and HBV infection, 796 with HBV infection only and 377 with heavy alcoholism only – from January 2005 to December 2020. Heavy alcohol consumption was defined as consumption of more than 80 g of ethanol per day for 5 years or more.

The researchers monitored the participants for more than 6 months, until June 2021, and took blood samples from 746 patients to analyze the ALDH2 rs671 polymorphism.

Newly developed HCC served as the primary endpoint and overall mortality as the secondary endpoint.

Tsai and colleagues reported that patients with HBV infection and alcoholics had higher cumulative incidences of HCC and 10-year mortality than patients with HBV infection or alcoholics alone. The researchers also noted that heavy alcohol consumption and the ALDH2 rs971 genotype in patients with HBV-related cirrhosis significantly increased the risk of HCC and mortality.

“Our results are consistent with those of previous studies, which demonstrated that the synergistic effect of viral hepatitis and heavy alcohol consumption worsened HCC progression and mortality,” Tsai and colleagues wrote. . “Closely monitoring and aggressively treating these patients with cirrhosis is important to reduce HCC incidence and mortality.”

They added: “To our knowledge, our study is the first to report that heavy alcohol consumption associated with the ALDH2 rs671 polymorphism is significantly associated with the risk of HCC and mortality in patients with alcoholism and cirrhosis after a long period of 10 years. – long-term follow-up.

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