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Coffee & Health
Liver function

The effect of caffeine and alcohol consumption on liver fibrosis – a study of 1045 Asian hepatitis-B patients using transient elastography

A Ong et al, (2011)
Liver International
August 1, 2011


Role of caffeine consumption in chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV)-infected patients and the interaction with alcohol consumption is unclear.


This study aimed to investigate the relationship between caffeine and alcohol consumption and liver stiffness in chronic HBV-infected patients.


Chronic HBV-infected patients who underwent transient elastography examination in 2006–2008 were studied. Advanced fibrosis was defined as liver stiffness 49 kPa for patients with normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or 412 kPa for those with elevated ALT according to previous validation study. Caffeine and alcohol consumption was recorded using a standardized questionnaire. Excessive alcohol intake was defined as 30 g/day in men and 20 g/day in women.


The liver stiffness of 1045 patients who completed the questionnaire was 8.36.2 kPa. Two hundred and sixteen (20.7%) patients had advanced fibrosis. Ninety-five (19.0%) patients who drank Z1 cup of coffee had advanced fibrosis, compared with 121 (22.2%) patients who drank o1 cup (P = 0.21). The amount of caffeine intake had positive correlation with the amount of alcohol intake (rs = 0.167, Po0.001). Although 231 (22.1%) patients reported alcohol consumption, only 11 (1%) had excessive alcohol intake. The prevalence of advanced fibrosis among patients with mild to moderate alcohol intake (26, 18.8%) was comparable to that among non-drinkers (190, 21.0%) (P = 0.57).


Caffeine intake does not affect liver stiffness in chronic HBV-infected patients. Patients who drink coffee regularly tend to drink alcohol. Most chronic HBV infected patients do not have excessive alcohol consumption. The prevalence of advanced fibrosis among mild to moderate alcohol drinkers was low in this population.

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