29 April 2013
Overweight women triple their risk of developing liver disease by consuming alcohol, according to new healthcare research.
The findings were recently presented by the UCL Institute of Liver and Digestive Health at the International Liver Congress. About 107,000 women were evaluated in the research, which ultimately found that overweight and obese individuals suffered from drastically increased levels of liver disease. Chronic liver disease occurred more frequently in women with a BMI of 25 or higher.
In addition, the study found that drinking significantly increases the risk of liver disease. Among women at a healthy weight, drinkers were 1.8 times more likely to develop the condition. In the overweight category, women who did drink were 1.7 times more susceptible to liver disease. Overweight drinkers were therefore over three times more likely to contract the disease than thin women who avoid alcohol.
Currently, liver disease is the fifth biggest killer in the UK. This may be due to high obesity rates, or because of the fact that liver disease has virtually no warning signs until it reaches advanced stages. Previous research has shown that women are twice as likely to develop the disease due to alcohol-related liver damage. As such, government guidelines advise women not to exceed two to three drinks per day. Liver tests are recommended for women concerned about how their weight and alcohol consumption have affected liver function.
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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