Overweight women who drink alcohol are three times more likely to develop fatty liver disease, according to a study presented at the International Liver Congress.
Dr Daniele Prati, of the European Association for the Study of the Liver Committee, said: "It's well known that alcohol and a person's weight are major causes of chronic liver disease, but there has been a need for a large population study to compare these factors' influences on each other.
"Interestingly, the research found the combination of a woman's drinking habits and weight has an important effect on liver health and life expectancy."
The study of over 100,000 British women was conducted by Dr Paul Trembling and Professor William Rosenberg at the UCL Institute of Liver and Digestive Health.
All participants had their BMI calculated and provided their alcohol intake ranging zero and 15 units a week. One unit is about half a standard glass of wine.
The study found that compared to thin women who don't touch booze - drinkers were nearly twice as likely to develop the disease.
Those who did not drink but were overweight had 1.7 times the risk of the disease.
But those who did both were at three times at risk of fatty liver disease.
"These findings will have a significant impact on how we can help millions of people across the world at risk of developing liver disease," Dr Prati explained.
Women are at particular at risk because they are twice as sensitive as men to alcohol related liver damage and developing a more severe form of the disease.
- DAILY MAIL