Alcohol-associated liver disease in the United States is associated with severe forms of disease among young, females and Hispanics

Ashwani K. Singal, Arshad Arsalan, Winston Dunn, Juan P. Arab, Robert J. Wong, Yong Fang Kuo, Patrick S. Kamath, Vijay H. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Alcohol use and alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) burden are increasing in young individuals. Aim: To assess host factors associated with this burden. Methods: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), National Inpatient Sample (NIS), and United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) databases (2006-2016) were used to identify individuals with harmful alcohol use, ALD-related admissions, and ALD-related LT listings respectively. Results: Of 15 981 subjects in NHANES database, weighted prevalence of harmful alcohol use was 17.7%, 29.3% in <35 years (G1) versus 16.9% in 35-64 years (G2) versus 5.1% in ≥65 years (G3). Alcohol use was about 11 and 4.7 folds higher in G1 and G2 versus G3, respectively. Male gender and Hispanic race associated with harmful alcohol use. Of 593 600 ALD admissions (5%, 77%, and 18% in G1-G3 respectively), acute on chronic liver failure (ACLF) occurred in 7.2%, (7.2 in G2 vs 6.7% in G1 and G3, P < 0.001). After controlling for other variables, ACLF development among ALD hospitalizations was higher by 14% and 10% in G1 and G2 versus G3, respectively. Female gender and Hispanic race were associated with increased ACLF risk by 8% and 17% respectively. Of 20,245 ALD LT listings (3.4%, 84.4%, and 12.2% in G1-G3 respectively), ACLF occurred in 28% candidates. Risk of severe (grade 2 or 3) ACLF was higher by about 1.7 fold in G1, 1.5 fold in females and 20% in Hispanics. Conclusion: Young age, female gender, and Hispanic race are independently associated with ALD-related burden and ACLF in the United States. If these findings are validated in prospective studies, strategies will be needed to reduce alcohol use in high risk individuals to reduce burden from ALD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-461
Number of pages11
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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