Alcohol consumption and risk of liver fibrosis in people living with HIV: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Objectives: It is unclear if a high level of alcohol consumption is a risk factor for liver fibrosis for people living with HIV (PLWH). This study systematically summarizes the risk relationship between different alcohol consumption and the incidence of liver fibrosis among PLWH.

Methods: We identified potential studies by searching the PubMed, Embase, Web of Science Library, and CNKI databases up to September 26th, 2021. Observation studies in PLWH that evaluated the relationship between alcohol consumption and the risk of liver fibrosis and estimated the effect of alcohol with pooled odds ratios (pooled ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were included.

Results: There were total 15 studies included in data analysis. Three studies were set up as cohort studies and the other twelve were cross-sectional studies. Our study was based on 22,676 individuals and 2,729 liver fibrosis cases from 15 studies. Alcohol abuse is a significant risk factor of liver fibrosis (pooled OR = 2.25, 95% CI: 1.59–3.17, p < 0.05) among PLWH. Daily alcohol consumption > 50 g can elevate the risk of liver fibrosis (pooled OR = 3.10, 95% CI: 2.02–4.73, p < 0.05) among PLWH. However, high-risk alcohol consumption determined by AUDIT-C (AUDIT-C ≥ 4) had little or no effect on subsequent liver fibrosis risk. Further, alcohol consumption > 50 g is also a risk factor to liver fibrosis in PLWH co-infected with HCV (pooled OR = 2.48, 95% CI: 1.62–3.80, p < 0.05) and in HIV mono-infected (pooled OR = 1.85, 95% CI: 1.00–3.43, p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of liver fibrosis in PLWH. HCV co-infection with alcohol abuse could possibly induce a higher risk of liver fibrosis than HIV mono-infected patients.


Lyu H, Tang H, Liang Y, Huang S, Wang Y, Huang W, Zhou Y




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Substance Use
    • Alcohol


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