Dietary factors and Alcoholic Cirrhosis

Authors

  • Amin A. Nanji MD, FRCP,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Ottawa and Ottawa General Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
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  • Samuel W. French MD

    1. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Ottawa and Ottawa General Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
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  • Copyright © 1986 by The American Medical Society on Alcoholism and The Research Society on Alcoholism.

2 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Ottawa General Hospital, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1H 8L6.

Abstract

Mortality from cirrhosis in many countries deviates markedly from that expected for a given per capita alcohol intake. We investigated the possibility that dietary factors might explain the deviation expected and actual mortality rates in different countries. Deviations from expected cirrhosis mortality was calculated as a percentage for 17 different countries, all of whom had carrier rates for hepatitis B virus of less than 2%. The percentage of deviation was correlated with dietary intake of sautrated fat, polyunsaturated fat, cholesterol, and also with mortality from ischemic heart disease. The percentage of deviation correlated inversely with dietary cholesterol (r= -0.86, p 0.001) and saturated fat (r= -0.80, p 0.001) and positively with polyunsaturated fats (r= -0.55 p 0.05). This suggests that both saturated fat and cholesterol protect against alcoholic cirrhosis while polyunsaturated fats promote cirrhosis. The correlation between percentage of deviation and ischemic heart disease (r= -0.78, p 0.002) suggests that those factors that promote ischemic heart diease protect against alcoholic cirrhosis.

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