Gender and liver, nutritional and metabolic alterations of severe alcoholism: A study of 480 patients

Arantza Sanvisens, Inmaculada Rivas, Ferran Bolao, Jordi Tor, Beatriz Rosón, Celestino Rey-Joly, Roberto Muga

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objective: To analyze gender differences in the hepatic, nutritional and metabolic complications associated with alcoholism. Patients and methods: Cross-sectional study in alcoholic patients admitted to detoxification in two university hospitals of Barcelona between 1999 and 2006. During admission, co-morbidity prior to admission was assessed and blood samples to analyze biological markers were collected. Demographic and anthropometric data, daily alcohol consumption and other drug use characteristics were also obtained at admission. Results: There were 566 admissions in 480 patients (375 males). Age at admission was 43 years (IQR: 36.3-49.0 years). Overall, 68.4% showed macrocytosis (MCV > 95 fl), 81.7% GGT > 40 U/L and 57.7% AST > 37 U/L. Regarding liver function tests, frequency of alkaline phosphatase > 120 U/L was significantly higher in women (18.5 vs 10.5%, p = 0.037). However, the prevalence of hyperferritinemia (> 90 ng/mL) was significantly higher in alcoholic men (85.7% vs 62.2%) (p = 0.000). Having multiple liver function test alterations was significantly higher in men (OR: 1.64, 95% CI: 1.01-2.65) (p = 0.043). Women showed significant differences regarding the prevalence of macrocytosis (77.5% vs 65.8%, p = 0.026), low serum creatinine (< 0.7 mg/100 mL) (28.2 vs 14.6%, p = 0.001), low serum ferritin (< 30 ng/mL) (10.8 vs 3.9%, p = 0.020), as well as of multiple nutritional alterations (OR: 1.59, 95% CI: 1.02-2.48) (p = 0.040). However, men had higher prevalence of anemia than women (32.3 vs 21.4%, p = 0.032). Prevalence of type I obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m2) was significantly higher in alcoholic women (29.2 vs 7.9%, p = 0.007). Conclusions: Hepatic, nutritional and metabolic complications of alcoholism in women are frequent, thus increasing the risk of developing adverse clinical outcomes. © 2010 Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
JournalMedicina Clinica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2011


  • Alcoholism
  • Biomarkers
  • Comorbidity


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