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World J Hepatol. May 27, 2011; 3(5): 108-113
Published online May 27, 2011. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v3.i5.108
Definition, epidemiology and magnitude of alcoholic hepatitis
Sarpreet Basra, Bhupinderjit S Anand
Sarpreet Basra, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, United States
Bhupinderjit S Anand, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Michael DeBakey VA Medical Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, United States
Author contributions: Basra S drafted and revised the manuscript; Anand BS supervised and approved the final version.
Correspondence to: Bhupinderjit S Anand, MD, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Michael DeBakey VA Medical center, Baylor College of medicine, 2002 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, United States.
Telephone: +1-713-794-7280 Fax: +1-713-795-4471
Received: October 28, 2010
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.

Keywords: Alcoholic hepatitis, Acute alcoholic hepatitis, Alcoholic liver disease, Epidemiology, Magnitude, Disease burden