Fatty liver disease is common in the United States and worldwide due to changing lifestyles and can progress to fibrosis and cirrhosis contributing to premature death.
Drs Aynur Unalp-Arida and Constance Ruhl and colleagues examined whether liver fibrosis scores were associated with increased overall and disease-specific mortality in a United States population–based prospective survey with up to 23 years of linked-mortality data.
Data were analyzed from 14,841 viral hepatitis–negative adult participants in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994.
Liver fibrosis was predicted using the aspartate aminotransferase–to-platelet ratio index (APRI), fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) score, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease fibrosis score (NFS), and Forns score.
|Overall mortality was also greater with higher fibrosis scores. |
Participants were passively followed for mortality, identified by death certificate underlying or contributing causes, by linkage to National Death Index records through 2011.
During follow-up, the researchers noted that cumulative mortality was 28% from all causes, and 0.8% with liver disease, including primary liver cancer.
The team found elevated liver disease mortality with an intermediate to high APRI, intermediate or high FIB-4 score, high NFS, and intermediate or high Forns score.
The researchers observed that overall mortality was also greater with higher fibrosis scores.
Dr Ruhl's team concludes, "In the United States population, higher liver fibrosis scores were associated with increased liver disease and overall mortality."
"Liver health management with common clinical measures of fibrosis risk stratification merits further investigation."