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Revista Colombiana de Gastroenterologia

Print version ISSN 0120-9957


ESCOBAR, Diana Marcela; RESTREPO, Juan Carlos; HOYOS, Sergio  and  NAVAS, María Cristina. Effect of alcohol consumption on diagnosis of liver cirrhosis patients’ survival at a University Hospital in Medellín. Rev Col Gastroenterol [online]. 2018, vol.33, n.3, pp.221-227. ISSN 0120-9957.

Worldwide, alcohol consumption is a well-known risk factor for premature death, morbidity and disability. Records of mortality associated with alcohol consumption are not centralized. The aim of this study was to record the mortality rate associated with alcohol intake in patients with cirrhosis who were treated at a university hospital in the city of Medellin.

Materials and methods:

We included 163 patients who had been diagnosed with cirrhosis in the outpatient hepatology clinic of a 277 bed referral hospital in Medellín. Patients were monitored until 2016. Sociodemographic, paraclinical and clinical variables were measured. Alcohol consumption was considered at the beginning of the follow-up. Survival and complications associated with cirrhosis were described and recorded for patients who consumed alcohol as well as for those who did not, and then the two groups were compared.


One hundred sixty-three patients were followed until December 2016. The mortality rate among those who consumed alcohol was 51% while it was only 39% for those who did not consume alcohol (P = 0.19). Comparison of complications of cirrhosis showed that 68% of alcohol users developed ascites vs. 43% of non-consumers (P = 0.01); 40.6% of alcohol users developed encephalopathy vs. 13.5% of non-consumers (P = 0.00); and 29% of alcohol users developed hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) vs. 17% of non-consumers (P = 0.08). In the subgroup analysis, patients with hepatitis C who consumed alcohol had a higher mortality rate than patients who did not consume alcohol (OR: 33, 95% CI: 1.06 to 1023).


Although alcohol consumption was not related to increased mortality among patients with cirrhosis in this study, increased mortality was observed in the subgroup of patients with hepatitis C.

Keywords : Cirrhosis; alcohol consumption; alcoholism; mortality; chronic liver disease.

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