Alcohol-induced Somatic Disorders

Sandra Helinski

Felix Stickel

Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) accounts for the majority of chronic liver disease in Western countries and is the premier cause of alcohol-related mortality. Environmental modifiers such as drinking patterns, coexisting liver disease, obesity, and dietary factors may influence the natural course of ALD. Recently, candidate gene studies and genome-wide scans have identified genetic risk factors which associate with alcoholic liver disease and its complications which shed light on yet unknown pathophysiological aspects of ALD, and potentially open the field for better prevention, screening and the development of novel therapies. Among the robustly confirmed risk loci for ALD is a sequence variation within the gene coding for patatin-like phospholipase encoding 3 (PNPLA3, rs738409) which was found to modulate the evolution of steatosis, necroinflammation, fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in alcoholics.