Background/Aims: Modest alcohol consumption has been suggested to be protective against alanine aminotransferase activities and ultrasonography-defined fatty liver. We aimed to explore the association between alcohol consumption and liver fat content as quantitatively determined by computed tomography (CT).
Methodology: One-thousand two-hundred thirty-one Japanese males, aged over 40 years, voluntarily participated in a health check-up program including CT screening in 2009-2010. Exclusion criteria included positivity for the hepatitis B or C virus, abstinent alcoholics and potential hepatotoxic drug intake. Liver fat content, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue were determined by CT. The association between alcohol consumption (g/week) and liver attenuation values (HU) was investigated by multivariate analysis with metabolic syndrome factors, liver enzyme activities and physical activities as covariates.
Results: One-thousand one-hundred thirty-eight subjects were eligible for this cross-sectional survey. VAT, triglyceride, glycated hemoglobin and alanine aminotransferase were significant and independent predictors for a decrease of liver attenuation. Alcohol consumption had a significant and independent association with an increase in liver attenuation (correlation coefficient=0.007, 95% CI=0.004-0.011, p<0.001) after adjusting for potential confounding variables.
Conclusions: Alcohol consumption has an inverse association with CT-determined liver fat content independent of metabolic syndrome factors, liver enzyme activities and physical activities.