Increasing metabolic co-morbidities are associated with higher risk of advanced fibrosis in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
Hepatic fibrosis and advanced fibrosis in particular is the strongest predictor of liver-related outcomes and mortality among nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) patients. Understanding prevalence and predictors of NASH with advanced fibrosis is critical for healthcare resource planning. Using a large U.S. clinical laboratory database from 10/1/2017-9/30/2018, adults negative for hepatitis B and hepatitis C and after excluding for alcoholic liver disease and pregnancy were evaluated for prevalence of F3 and F4 fibrosis using a systematic algorithm of five fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) criteria: Criteria 1 (.F3: >2.67), Criteria 2 (2.67<F3.4.12 and F4>4.12), Criteria 3 (2.67<F3.3.15, F4>3.15), Criteria 4 (3.25<F3.3.5, F4>3.5), Criteria 5 (3.25<F3.4.12, F4>4.12). Metabolic co-morbidities evaluated included decreased high density lipoprotein (<40 mg/dL men, <50 mg/dL women), high triglycerides (.150 mg/dL), elevated hemoglobin A1C (.6.5%). Parallel analyses of patients with specific NAFLD/NASH ICD-9/10 codes from 10/1/2013-9/30/2018 were performed. Multivariate logistic regression models evaluated for predictors of .F3 fibrosis. Among patients with NAFLD/NASH ICD-9/10 codes, .F3 prevalence ranged from 4.35% - 6.90%, and F4 prevalence ranged from 2.52%– 3.67%. Increasing metabolic co-morbidities was associated with higher risk of .F3 fibrosis. Compared to NASH patients without metabolic co-morbidities, NASH with four concurrent metabolic co-morbidities had higher risk of .F3 (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.40–1.73, p<0.001). In summary, prevalence of NASH with advanced fibrosis among U.S. adults was as high as 6.90% and prevalence of NASH with cirrhosis was as high as 3.67%, representing 5.18 million and 2.75 million, respectively, when using an estimate of 75 million U.S. adults with NAFLD. Co-morbid metabolic abnormalities were associated with higher risk of advanced fibrosis among NASH patients.