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Current status of liver diseases in Korea: toxic and alcoholic liver diseases.

Authors
  • Kim, Kyung-Ah
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Korean journal of hepatology
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2009
Volume
15 Suppl 6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3350/kjhep.2009.15.S6.S29
PMID: 20037277
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The study of the epidemiology of toxic liver injury has been limited in Korea. The number of hospitalizations for toxic liver injury has been estimated to be 2,400 persons per year. About 30~40% of fulminant hepatitis was attributed to toxic hepatitis. The frequent causative agents of toxic hepatitis in Korea are herbal medicines (34-40%), folk remedies (23-34%), and prescribed medicines (24-55%). However, the most common agents causing severe liver injury including fulminant hepatitis are herbal medicine and folk remedies. Antituberculosis drugs and acetaminophen are two common causes of fulminant hepatitis among prescribed drugs. Alcohol is one of the leading causes of chronic liver disease in Korea. No nationwide study on the epidemiology of alcoholic liver disease (ALD) has been carried out, but 7-31% of cirrhosis has been reported to be alcoholic in a few single-center studies. Alcohol could be a risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in chronic viral hepatitis. Several studies have shown that alcohol increased the risk of HCC in liver cirrhosis with HBsAg or anti-HCV. Furthermore, alcoholic cirrhosis with occult hepatitis B virus infection increased the risk of HCC.

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