Premorbid Hair Growth over the Trunk and Severity of Alcohol-Related Liver Disease
- Cite this article as:
- Kumar, N. & Anand, B.S. Dig Dis Sci (1998) 43: 1111. doi:10.1023/A:1018855407237
It is unclear why only a minority (<15%) ofalcoholics develop liver disease. No predisposing hostfactor other than gender (women are more susceptiblethan men) has been identified. The present study was carried out to examine the association ofanother host factor, hair growth over the trunk, andalcoholic liver disease. Forty-four chronic alcoholabusers were categorized into group I (scanty hairgrowth) and group II (profuse hair growth) based onpremorbid hair distribution over the trunk. The resultsof laboratory tests, liver histology, and incidence ofportal hypertension were compared between the two groups. There were 21 patients in group I and23 in group II. The mean (±SD) daily alcoholconsumption was greater in group II (230 ± 146 g)vs group I patients (152 ± 56 g; P < 0.05), aswas the duration of alcohol abuse (17.3 ± 7.4 vs 11.9 ± 4.9years; P < 0.01). Despite lower alcohol consumption,liver tests showed greater derangement in group Icompared to group II patients. At histology, severeforms of liver damage were seen more frequently in group I vs groupII patients (P < 0.001). Our results indicate a closeassociation between the premorbid truncal hair growthand severity of alcoholic liver disease. These findings provide an easily recognizable clinical signidentifying individuals at increased risk of developingalcoholrelated liver damage.