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Alcoholic liver disease in Nepal: identifying homemade alcohol as a culprit

Authors Pradhan B, Hadengue A, Chappuis F, Chaudhary S, Baral D, Gache P, Karki P, Rijal S

Received 21 January 2015

Accepted for publication 3 April 2015

Published 13 July 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 183—189

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CEG.S81321

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Andreas M Kaiser


Bickram Pradhan,1 Antoine Hadengue,2 François Chappuis,3 Shatdal Chaudhary,1 Dharanidhar Baral,4 Pascal Gache,5 Prahlad Karki,6 Suman Rijal6

1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, B P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal; 2Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 3Division of Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland; 4Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, B P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal; 5Department of Health and Community Medicine. Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland; 6Department of Internal Medicine, B P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Dharan, Nepal


Background: Though the type of alcohol consumed is not thought to be associated with alcoholic liver disease (ALD), some studies have shown a beverage-specific effect. In the present study, we aim to study the effects of locally brewed alcoholic beverages on the development of liver disease.
Patients and methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at the internal medicine department of a university hospital in Nepal. All patients classified as having either alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition were evaluated for the presence of ALD.
Results: A total of 1,500 patients were screened, of which, 447 patients had ALD. Chronic liver disease (CLD) was detected in 144 patients (9.6%). Most of the patients consumed homemade locally brewed alcohol. On multivariate analysis, the following variables were found to be significantly associated with CLD: male sex (odds ratio [OR]: 1.81; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12–2.94; P=0.02): rakshi consumption ≥30 units (OR: 2.53; 95% CI: 1.07–6.01; P=0.04); and tongba consumption (OR: 3.02; 95% CI: 1.22–7.50; P=0.02).
Conclusion: There was a significant increase in the risk of developing ALD with the consumption of rakshi and tongba after adjusting for total units consumed. The absence of striking differences between our patients with CLD and non-CLD patients with regards to the amount of alcohol consumed demonstrates that, although alcohol consumption is a prerequisite for the development of ALD, other factors like type of alcoholic beverage consumed may be involved.

Keywords: alcohol use disorders, alcoholic liver disease, locally brewed alcohol

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