Association of Heavy Alcohol Intake and ALDH2 rs671 Polymorphism with Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Mortality in Patients with Hepatitis B Virus-Related Cirrhosis

Ming Chao Tsai, Sien Sing Yang, Chih Che Lin, Wen Lun Wang, Yao Chun Hsu, Yaw Sen Chen, Jui Ting Hu, James Yu Lin, Ming Lung Yu, Chih Wen Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Importance: The role of heavy alcohol intake, aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 gene (ALDH2) rs671 polymorphism, and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development and mortality remains uncertain. Objective: To investigate the association of heavy alcohol intake, ALDH2 rs671 polymorphism, and HBV infection with HCC development and mortality in patients with cirrhosis. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study enrolled patients with cirrhosis with heavy alcoholism or/and HBV infection from January 2005 to December 2020. Patients were followed up through June 30, 2021. The current data analysis was performed from August 2021 to April 2022. Patients from 3 tertiary hospitals in Taiwan were enrolled. Exposures: Heavy alcohol intake was defined as consuming more than 80 g of ethanol each day for at least 5 years. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was newly developed HCC. The secondary end point was overall mortality. Results: Of 1515 patients with cirrhosis (342 with concomitant heavy alcoholism and HBV infection, 796 with HBV infection alone, and 377 with heavy alcoholism alone), 1277 (84.3%) were men, and their mean (SD) age was 49.5 (10.2) years; 746 patients had blood samples collected for ALDH2 rs671 polymorphism analysis. The 10-year cumulative incidences of HCC and mortality were significantly higher in patients with cirrhosis with concomitant HBV infection and alcoholism than in those with HBV infection alone or alcoholism alone. Heavy alcohol intake and the ALDH2 rs671 genotype (GA/AA) were associated with significantly increased risk of HCC and mortality in patients with HBV-related cirrhosis. In patients with cirrhosis with concomitant HBV infection and alcoholism, factors associated with risk of HCC were baseline serum HBV DNA (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 3.24; 95% CI, 1.43-7.31), antiviral therapy (aHR, 0.15; 95% CI, 0.05-0.39), alcohol intake (aHR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.02-3.12), abstinence (aHR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.18-0.59), and ALDH2 rs671 polymorphism (aHR, 5.61; 95% CI, 2.42-12.90). Factors associated with increased risk of mortality were abstinence (aHR, 0.25; 95% CI, 0.16-0.32), ALDH2 rs671 polymorphism (aHR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.09-2.26), Child-Pugh class B vs A (aHR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.13-2.25) and class C vs A (aHR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.18-3.31), serum albumin (aHR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.43-0.86), and HCC development (aHR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.12-2.89). Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that heavy alcohol intake and ALDH2 rs671 polymorphism are associated with significantly increased risk of HCC development and mortality in patients with HBV-related cirrhosis. Patients with these risk factors should be monitored closely for HCC..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E2223511
JournalJAMA Network Open
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

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