Depression and anxiety are common in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
However, their associations with histological severity of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are unknown.
Dr Nagy and colleagues assessed the association(s) of depression, anxiety and antidepressant pharmacotherapy with severity of histological features in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
The research team analyzed 567 patients with biopsy-proven nonalcoholic fatty liver disease enrolled in the Duke nonalcoholic fatty liver disease Clinical Database.
Depressive and anxiety symptoms were assessed using the Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale.
The associations of depression and anxiety with severity of histological features of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease were analyzed using multiple logistic regression models with and without adjusting for confounding factors.
Subclinical and clinical depression was noted in 53%, and 14% of patients, respectively.
The team observed subclinical and clinical anxiety in 45% and 25% of patients, respectively.
After adjusting for confounders, depression was significantly associated with more severe hepatocyte ballooning in a dose-dependent manner; adjusted cumulative odds ratio of subclinical and clinical depression for having a higher grade of hepatocyte ballooning were 2.1 and 3.6
Dr Nagy's team commented, "In patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, depression was associated with more severe hepatocyte ballooning."
"Further investigation exploring pathobiological mechanisms underlying the observed associations and potential effects of antidepressant pharmacotherapy on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease liver histology is warranted."