Published online May 27, 2011. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v3.i5.108
Revised: March 6, 2011
Accepted: March 13, 2011
Published online: May 27, 2011
Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a major cause of alcohol-related morbidity and mortality. Its presentation ranges from fatty liver to alcoholic hepatitis (AH), cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Although the amount and pattern of alcohol consumption is a well recognized predisposing factor for the development of serious liver pathology, environmental factors and the host’s genetic make-up may also play significant roles that have not yet been entirely explored. Continuing alcohol consumption is a major factor that influences the survival of patients with AH. The presence of cirrhosis at presentation or its development on follow up is a major factor determining the outcome in the long run. This chapter deals with the epidemiology and magnitude of ALD in general and AH in particular.