(RxWiki News) Drinking alcohol in your late teen years could lead to liver problems in your adult years, according to a new study.
This new study examined more than 49,000 Swedish men between the ages of 18 and 20 over 39 years of follow-up. It found that those who began drinking earlier in life were more likely to develop severe liver disease, such as cirrhosis.
High alcohol consumption has long been linked to liver disease, which can be fatal. In the current study, the more men drank in their younger years, the more likely they were to develop liver disease. Although even very low alcohol consumption in early life was tied to a raised risk of liver disease, the risk became more pronounced in men who consumed two drinks per day or more.
The study authors pointed out that different countries have different ideas of what is considered a safe level of alcohol consumption. They said, however, that the cutoff for men to avoid liver disease might need to be lowered.
Because this study only looked at men, these findings may not apply to women in the same way. If you are concerned about your alcohol intake or your risk for liver disease, seek guidance from your health care provider.
This study was published in the Journal of Hepatology.
Information on study funding sources and potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.