PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship of a
lcohol consumption and intake of 15 selected micronutrients with risk
of liver cirrhosis. METHODS: Data from a case-control study performed
in 1989-1990 in central Italy involving 115 incident cases and 167 hos
pital controls were used. RESULTS: Cases and controls did not differ f
or mean daily intake of calories, carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins.
Significant direct dose-response relationships between the intakes of
vitamin A and iron and the risk cirrhosis were observed, while signif
icant protective effects of nutrients and alcohol were also observed.
The intakes of vitamin A and iron were significantly associated with t
he risk of cirrhosis in lifetime teetotalers (odds ratios (OR) and 95%
confidence intervals (CI) of 33.6 (1.2-979.9) and 37.9 (1.8-819.4) fo
r higher intake of vitamin A and iron, respectively) and in consumers
of <50 g/day of alcohol (vitamin A: OR 45.0; 95% CI, (2.6-774.6); iron
: OR, 73.6; 95% CI, 4.3-999). The OR associated with intakes of vitami
ns B-2 (riboflavin) and B-12 were not significant for the first two ca
tegories of alcohol use, while a higher intake of these two vitamins r
educed the risk of cirrhosis associated with alcohol consumption above
50 g/day; the ORs (95% CI) were 23.0 (2.7-198.9) and 14.0-999, respec
tively, for higher and lower intake of vitamin B-12. CONCLUSION: These
findings might explain at least a portion of the individual susceptib
ility to alcohol-induced damage. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Inc.