Large population-based cohort provides important new insights into mortality and cardiovascular disease over the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease spectrum

April 24, 2015, Vienna, Austria: Results from a large population-based cohort of almost a million people in the UK found that the chances of dying from non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), over a 14-year period, was approximately 50% higher than for those with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Reported today at The International Liver CongressTM 2015, the large study analysed the overall burden of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality across the spectrum of NAFLD. The four stages of NAFLD are steatosis (or simple fatty liver), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis and cirrhosis.

Data from over 900,000 patients in England was obtained from a local computerised hospital activity analysis register. Data was processed to identify patients with NAFLD, NASH and NAFLD cirrhosis throughout the study period. Cardiovascular comorbidities were coded and their prevalence were analysed over 14 years.

During the 14-year study period, 2,701 patients were diagnosed with NAFLD-spectrum conditions: 1,294 with NAFLD, 122 with NASH and 1,285 with cirrhosis. All-cause mortality was higher in people with NASH than NAFLD (22.1% vs 14.5%) and in those with cirrhosis than NAFLD (53.1% vs 14.5%). Congestive cardiac failure was less prevalent in NAFLD than NASH and cirrhosis.

Dr Jake Mann, University of Cambridge, UK, concluded: “Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is recognised as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Our results suggest that non-alcoholic steatohepatitis conveys an even greater risk. This study provides important new insights into mortality and burden of cardiovascular disease in patients across the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease spectrum.”

Dr Laurent Castera, Vice-Secretary, European Association for the Study of the Liver, commented: “In non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, fat builds up in the liver which can cause inflammation and, eventually, lead to permanent scarring. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has four stages and these findings clearly link the severity of the disease with the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death. It is therefore imperative that we identify people in the early stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease so they can be treated through diet and lifestyle interventions before their condition becomes potentially deadly.”

About The International Liver Congress™
This annual congress is the biggest event in the EASL calendar, attracting scientific and medical experts from around the world to learn about the latest in liver research. Specialists share research studies and findings, and discuss the hottest topics related to liver disease. This year, the congress is expected to attract approximately 10,000 delegates from all corners of the globe. 2015 is a very special year for EASL and the hepatology community as they will celebrate the 50th annual meeting. The International Liver Congress™ takes place from April 22-26, 2015, Vienna, Austria.

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Since EASL’s foundation in 1966, this not-for-profit organisation has grown to over 4,000 members from more than 100 countries around the world. EASL is the leading liver association in Europe, it attracts the foremost hepatology experts and has an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education and promoting changes in European liver policy.

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General Session 2, Hall D
Presentation time: 10:15 – 10:30

Presenter: Jake P. Mann (United Kingdom)