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Obesity and alcohol "increase liver disease risk"

Overweight men and women need to watch their alcohol intake to reduce their risk of liver disease, experts have warned.

A study found that obese women have double the risk of cirrhosis of the liver if they drink 150g of alcohol a week - the equivalent of just over one standard glass of wine a day - compared to slimmer women.

However, researchers also warned about the risks to men, with overweight male drinkers at an increased risk of the disease.

The research, published online in the British Medical Journal, found obese men drinking five pints of beer a week or 15 or more units had almost 19 times higher risk of dying of liver disease.

Experts said modern lifestyles were leading to end-stage liver disease in British adults.

In a study from Oxford University researchers, women who drank less than 70g of alcohol a week (nine units) had a risk of liver cirrhosis of 0.8 per 1,000 women over five years if they were a healthy weight (BMI of 22.5 to 25).

But for women with a BMI of 30 or over (classed as obese), the risk was one per 1,000 women.

The risk rose dramatically among those drinking more.

For women drinking 150g of alcohol or more per week (equivalent to 19 units), the risk was 2.7 per 1,000 women for those of normal weight, doubling to five per 1,000 women among those who were obese.

The study used data from more than a million women with an average age of 56.

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