Alcohol and hepatitis C

Kamran Safdar, Eugene R. Schiff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Alcohol abuse and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection coexist with chronic liver disease in many patients. The mechanism of injury in these patients is probably multifactorial and involves, but is not limited to, a combination of diminished immune clearance of HCV, oxidative stress, emergence of HCV quasi-species, hepatic steatosis, increased iron stores, and increased rate of hepatocyte apoptosis. In patients with HCV infection, alcohol consumption is known to cause accelerated progression of liver fibrosis, higher frequency of cirrhosis, and increased incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). These patients also have decreased survival as compared with patients with either alcohol abuse or HCV liver injury alone. Alcohol abuse causes decreased response to interferon treatment in HCV patients. It is therefore necessary for patients with HCV infection to abstain from alcohol consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-315
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in liver disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2004


  • Alcohol
  • Cirrhosis
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Interferon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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