Moderate alcohol consumption is not associated with subclinical cardiovascular damage but with hepatic fibrosis in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Kazuhiro Kashiwagi, Akihiro Yamaguchi, Shunsuke Shiba, Nobuhito Taniki, Nagamu Inoue, Hiromasa Takaishi, Yasushi Iwao, Takanori Kanai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Moderate alcohol consumption is believed to be associated with reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the general population. This cross-sectional study aimed to comprehensively examine the association between alcohol consumption and subclinical cardiovascular damage or hepatic fibrosis in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Methods: Subjects with NAFLD without a history of heart disease were extracted from 977 consecutive examinees who completed health checkups and optional cardiovascular examinations. Subclinical cardiovascular damage was assessed by coronary artery calcification (CAC), carotid artery ultrasound, and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (ba-PWV). CAC scores were classified into three grades (0, ≤100, and >100) by Agatston's method. Alcohol consumption was divided into three groups [Non-drinking (G0); Light (G1), 0.1–6.9 drinks/week; Moderate (G2), 7–20.9 drinks/week for men and 7–13.9 drinks/week for women]. Noninvasive markers (FIB-4, Fibrosis-4; NFS, NAFLD fibrosis score) were calculated for assessment of hepatic fibrosis and classified into low and intermediate-high grade. Results: The overall mean age was 60.2 years and males were 200 (74.6%) among 268 subjects with NAFLD. Number (%) of G0, G1, and G2 were 102 (38.1%), 103 (38.4%), and 63 (23.5%). Binary logistic regression analysis showed no significant difference between G0 and G1, or G0 and G2 in any of the above subclinical cardiovascular damages (CAC score >0, or CAC score >100, carotid plaque +, intima-media thickness ≥1.1 mm, and ba-PWV >1400 cm/s). However, only G2 had a significant association with intermediate-high grade of FIB-4 or NFS [odds ratio (95% confidence intervals), p value: 1.871 (1.209–2.893), p = 0.005; 2.910 (1.715–4.939), p = 0.000], compared to G0. Conclusions: Non-heavy drinking might not reduce the risk of CVD in NAFLD subjects. On the contrary, even moderate drinking could promote hepatic fibrosis. Thus, NAFLD drinkers should not be recommended for even a moderate amount of alcohol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec


  • Hepatic fibrosis
  • Moderate drinking
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Subclinical cardiovascular damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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