Alcoholic liver disease epidemiology and demographics

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: M. Khurram Afzal, MD [2]


The incidence of alcoholic liver disease is very high among alcoholics, and those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol. It does still depend on the amount and type of alcohol consumed. The mortality rate is high in those who present with alcoholic hepatitis and those individuals whose disease has progressed to cirrhosis. The average age of presentation is between 40 and 50 years. The disease tends to progress faster in individuals of hispanic ethnicity and women are at greater risk of developing alcoholic liver disease than men.

Epidemiology and Demographics


  • According to National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism the incidence of alcoholic steatosis is approximately 20,000 per 100,000 alcoholics and heavy drinkers.[1]


  • The prevalence of alcoholic liver disease is estimated to be 604 per 100,000 individuals within the age group of 25 to 44 years.[2][3]
  • The prevalence of alcoholic liver disease is estimated to be 948 per 100,000 individuals within the age group of 45 to 64 years.[2][4][5]

Mortality rate

  • The 5-year mortality rate in patients suffering from well compensated alcoholic cirrhosis is approximately 58000 per 100,000 individuals.[6]
  • The 28-day mortality rate of patients suffering from alcoholic hepatitis ranges from a low of 20000 per 100,000 individuals to a high of 30000 per 100,000 individuals.[7]



  • Alcoholic liver disease usually progresses faster in individuals of the hispanic ethnicity. Caucasian individuals are likely to develop disease later.[10][11][12]


  • Women are at a higher risk to be affected by alcoholic liver disease than men.[13][14]


  • Alcohol abuse is responsible for five percent (100,000 per year in 1996) of deaths occurring annually in the United States.[15]

Developed Countries


  1. Mann RE, Smart RG, Govoni R (2003). "The epidemiology of alcoholic liver disease". Alcohol Res Health. 27 (3): 209–19. PMID 15535449.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mandayam S, Jamal MM, Morgan TR (2004). "Epidemiology of alcoholic liver disease". Semin. Liver Dis. 24 (3): 217–32. doi:10.1055/s-2004-832936. PMID 15349801.
  3. Adams WL, Yuan Z, Barboriak JJ, Rimm AA (1993). "Alcohol-related hospitalizations of elderly people. Prevalence and geographic variation in the United States". JAMA. 270 (10): 1222–5. PMID 8355385.
  4. Adang RP, Wensing JW, Stockbrügger RW (1998). "Alcohol consumption and alcohol-related liver disease in The Netherlands". Scand. J. Gastroenterol. Suppl. 225: 70–4. PMID 9515756.
  5. Singh GK, Hoyert DL (2000). "Social epidemiology of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis mortality in the United States, 1935-1997: trends and differentials by ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and alcohol consumption". Hum. Biol. 72 (5): 801–20. PMID 11126726.
  6. Borowsky SA, Strome S, Lott E (1981). "Continued heavy drinking and survival in alcoholic cirrhotics". Gastroenterology. 80 (6): 1405–9. PMID 6971772.
  7. Maddrey WC, Boitnott JK, Bedine MS, Weber FL, Mezey E, White RI (1978). "Corticosteroid therapy of alcoholic hepatitis". Gastroenterology. 75 (2): 193–9. PMID 352788.
  8. Mendenhall CL (1981). "Alcoholic hepatitis". Clin Gastroenterol. 10 (2): 417–41. PMID 7018751.
  9. Lischner MW, Alexander JF, Galambos JT (1971). "Natural history of alcoholic hepatitis. I. The acute disease". Am J Dig Dis. 16 (6): 481–94. PMID 5314524.
  10. Levy R, Catana AM, Durbin-Johnson B, Halsted CH, Medici V (2015). "Ethnic differences in presentation and severity of alcoholic liver disease". Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res. 39 (3): 566–574. doi:10.1111/acer.12660. PMC 4348235. PMID 25702770.
  11. Stinson FS, Grant BF, Dufour MC (2001). "The critical dimension of ethnicity in liver cirrhosis mortality statistics". Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res. 25 (8): 1181–7. PMID 11505049.
  12. Caetano R, Kaskutas LA (1995). "Changes in drinking patterns among whites, blacks and Hispanics, 1984-1992". J. Stud. Alcohol. 56 (5): 558–65. PMID 7475037.
  13. Becker U, Deis A, Sørensen TI, Grønbaek M, Borch-Johnsen K, Müller CF, Schnohr P, Jensen G (1996). "Prediction of risk of liver disease by alcohol intake, sex, and age: a prospective population study". Hepatology. 23 (5): 1025–9. doi:10.1002/hep.510230513. PMID 8621128.
  14. Bellentani S, Saccoccio G, Costa G, Tiribelli C, Manenti F, Sodde M, Saveria Crocè L, Sasso F, Pozzato G, Cristianini G, Brandi G (1997). "Drinking habits as cofactors of risk for alcohol induced liver damage. The Dionysos Study Group". Gut. 41 (6): 845–50. PMC 1891602. PMID 9462221.
  15. Hoofnagle JH, Kresina T, Fuller RK, Lake JR, Lucey MR, Sorrell MF, Beresford TP (1997). "Liver transplantation for alcoholic liver disease: executive statement and recommendations. Summary of a National Institutes of Health workshop held December 6-7, 1996, Bethesda, Maryland". Liver Transpl Surg. 3 (3): 347–50. PMID 9346762.
  16. Burra P, Lucey MR (2005). "Liver transplantation in alcoholic patients". Transpl. Int. 18 (5): 491–8. doi:10.1111/j.1432-2277.2005.00079.x. PMID 15819795.

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