Real-world data reveal a diagnostic gap in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
ABSTRACT: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of liver disease worldwide. It affects an estimated 20% of the general population, based on cohort studies of varying size and heterogeneous selection. However, the prevalence and incidence of recorded NAFLD diagnoses in unselected real-world health-care records is unknown. We harmonised health records from four major European territories and assessed age- and sex-specific point prevalence and incidence of NAFLD over the past decade.Data were extracted from The Health Improvement Network (UK), Health Search Database (Italy), Information System for Research in Primary Care (Spain) and Integrated Primary Care Information (Netherlands). Each database uses a different coding system. Prevalence and incidence estimates were pooled across databases by random-effects meta-analysis after a log-transformation.Data were available for 17,669,973 adults, of which 176,114 had a recorded diagnosis of NAFLD. Pooled prevalence trebled from 0.60% in 2007 (95% confidence interval: 0.41-0.79) to 1.85% (0.91-2.79) in 2014. Incidence doubled from 1.32 (0.83-1.82) to 2.35 (1.29-3.40) per 1000 person-years. The FIB-4 non-invasive estimate of liver fibrosis could be calculated in 40.6% of patients, of whom 29.6-35.7% had indeterminate or high-risk scores.In the largest primary-care record study of its kind to date, rates of recorded NAFLD are much lower than expected suggesting under-diagnosis and under-recording. Despite this, we have identified rising incidence and prevalence of the diagnosis. Improved recognition of NAFLD may identify people who will benefit from risk factor modification or emerging therapies to prevent progression to cardiometabolic and hepatic complications.
Project description:The prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is increasing. The health care burden resulting from the multidisciplinary management of this complex disease is unknown. We assessed the total health care cost and resource utilization associated with a new NAFLD diagnosis, compared with controls with similar comorbidities. We used OptumLabs Data Warehouse, a large national administrative claims database with longitudinal health data of over 100 million individuals enrolled in private and Medicare Advantage health plans. We identified 152,064 adults with a first claim for NAFLD between 2010 and 2014, of which 108,420 were matched 1:1 by age, sex, metabolic comorbidities, length of follow-up, year of diagnosis, race, geographic region, and insurance type to non-NAFLD contemporary controls from the OptumLabs Data Warehouse database. Median follow-up time was 2.6 (range 1-6.5) years. The final study cohort consisted of 216,840 people with median age 55 (range 18-86) years, 53% female, 78% white. The total annual cost of care per NAFLD patient with private insurance was $7,804 (interquartile range [IQR] $3,068-$18,688) for a new diagnosis and $3,789 (IQR $1,176-$10,539) for long-term management. These costs are significantly higher than the total annual costs of $2,298 (IQR $681-$6,580) per matched control with similar metabolic comorbidities but without NAFLD. The largest increases in health care utilization that may account for the increased costs in NAFLD compared with controls are represented by liver biopsies (relative risk [RR] = 55.00, 95% confidence interval [CI] 24.48-123.59), imaging (RR = 3.95, 95% CI 3.77-4.15), and hospitalizations (RR = 1.87, 95% CI 1.73-2.02). Conclusion: The costs associated with the care for NAFLD independent of its metabolic comorbidities are very high, especially at first diagnosis. Research efforts shouldfocus on identification of underlying determinants of use, sources of excess cost, and development of cost-effective diagnostic tests.
Project description:Background:The prevalence and incidence of youth-onset nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) far exceeds other paediatric chronic liver diseases and represents a considerable public health issue globally. Methods:Here, we performed a narrative review of current knowledge regarding the epidemiology of paediatric NAFLD, selected concepts in pathogenesis, comorbidities, diagnosis, and management, and issues related to the transition to adulthood. Results:Paediatric NAFLD has become increasingly more prevalent, especially in certain subgroups, such as children with obesity and certain races/ethnicities. The pathophysiology of paediatric NAFLD is complex and multifactorial, driven by an interaction of environmental and genetic factors. Once developed, NAFLD in childhood is associated with type 2 diabetes, hypertension, increased cardiovascular disease risk, and end-stage liver disease. This predicts an increased burden of morbidity and mortality in adolescents and young adults. Early screening and diagnosis are therefore crucial, and the development of noninvasive biomarkers remains an active area of investigation. Currently, treatment strategies are focused on lifestyle changes, but there is also research interest in pharmacological and surgical options. In the transition from paediatric to adult care, there are several potential challenges/barriers to treatment and research is needed to understand how best to support patients during this time. Conclusions:Our understanding of the epidemiology and pathophysiology of paediatric NAFLD has increased considerably over recent decades, but several critical knowledge gaps remain and must be addressed in order to better mitigate the short-term and long-term risks of youth-onset NAFLD.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common condition that progresses in some patients to steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here we used healthcare records of 18 million adults to estimate risk of acquiring advanced liver disease diagnoses in patients with NAFLD or NASH compared to individually matched controls. METHODS:Data were extracted from four European primary care databases representing the UK, Netherlands, Italy and Spain. Patients with a recorded diagnosis of NAFLD or NASH (NAFLD/NASH) were followed up for incident cirrhosis and HCC diagnoses. Each coded NAFLD/NASH patient was matched to up to 100 "non-NAFLD" patients by practice site, gender, age ± 5 years and visit recorded within ± 6 months. Hazard ratios (HR) were estimated using Cox models adjusted for age and smoking status and pooled across databases by random effects meta-analyses. RESULTS:Out of 18,782,281 adults, we identified 136,703 patients with coded NAFLD/NASH. Coded NAFLD/NASH patients were more likely to have diabetes, hypertension and obesity than matched controls. HR for cirrhosis in patients compared to controls was 4.73 (95% CI 2.43-9.19) and for HCC, 3.51 (95% CI 1.72-7.16). HR for either outcome was higher in patients with NASH and those with high-risk Fib-4 scores. The strongest independent predictor of a diagnosis of HCC or cirrhosis was baseline diagnosis of diabetes. CONCLUSIONS:Real-world population data show that recorded diagnosis of NAFLD/NASH increases risk of life-threatening liver outcomes. Diabetes is an independent predictor of advanced liver disease diagnosis, emphasising the need to identify specific groups of patients at highest risk.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The rising prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and the more aggressive subtype, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), is a global public health concern. Left untreated, NAFLD/NASH can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, and death. The current standard for diagnosing and staging liver disease is a liver biopsy, which is costly, invasive, and carries risk for the patient. Therefore, there is a growing need for a reliable, feasible, and cost-effective, noninvasive diagnostic tool for these conditions. LiverMultiScan is one such promising tool that uses multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) to characterize liver tissue and to aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of liver diseases of various etiologies. OBJECTIVE:The primary objective of this trial (RADIcAL1) is to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the introduction of LiverMultiScan as a standardized diagnostic test for liver disease in comparison to standard care for NAFLD, in different EU territories. METHODS:RADIcAL1 is a multi-center randomized control trial with 2 arms conducted in 4 European territories (13 sites, from across Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, and the United Kingdom). In total, 1072 adult patients with suspected fatty liver disease will be randomized to be treated according to the result of the mpMRI in the intervention arm, so that further diagnostic evaluation is recommended only when values for metrics of liver fat or fibro-inflammation are elevated. Patients in the control arm will be treated as per center guidelines for standard of care. The primary outcome for this trial is to compare the difference in the proportion of patients with suspected NAFLD incurring liver-related hospital consultations or liver biopsies between the study arms, from the date of randomization to the end of the study follow-up. Secondary outcomes include patient feedback from a patient satisfaction questionnaire, at baseline and all follow-up visits to the end of the study, and time, from randomization to diagnosis by the physician, as recorded at the final follow-up visit. RESULTS:This trial is currently open for recruitment. The anticipated completion date for the study is December 2020. CONCLUSIONS:This randomized controlled trial will provide the evidence to accelerate decision making regarding the inclusion of mpMRI-based tools in existing NAFLD/NASH clinical care. RADIcAL1 is among the first and largest European health economic studies of imaging technologies for fatty liver disease. Strengths of the trial include a high-quality research design and an in-depth assessment of the implementation of the cost-effectiveness of the mpMRI diagnostic. If effective, the trial may highlight the health economic burden on tertiary-referral hepatology clinics imposed by unnecessary consultations and invasive diagnostic investigations, and demonstrate that including LiverMultiScan as a NAFLD diagnostic test may be cost-effective compared to liver-related hospital consultations or liver biopsies. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03289897 https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03289897. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID):DERR1-10.2196/19189.
Project description:There has been a global increase in the incidence and prevalence of NAFLD. We assessed the knowledge and awareness of NAFLD among gastroenterology doctors in three state sector hospitals.80 medical officers and 58 post-graduate trainee doctors/consultants responded. 110 (79.7%) considered NAFLD a major health problem whilst 97 (70.3%) thought the prevalence of NAFLD was 10-40%. 52.9% saw 12-24 patients with NAFLD/year. A vast majority knew the risk factors for NAFLD: 127 (92.7%) diabetes mellitus, 135 (97.8%) Obesity, 132 (95.7%) Dyslipidemia and 87 (63%) PCOS. The methods for diagnosis were recognized by: USS 132 (95.7%), MRI 34 (24.6%), transient elastography 23 (16.7%) and liver biopsy 88 (63.8%) while, 53 (38.4%) recognized the non-invasive methods available for diagnosis. The trends in referral were lower than expected: 85 (61.6%) refer to a Gastroenterologist/Physician, 53 (38.4%) to a Gym, 67 (48.6%) to a weight loss clinic and 45 (32.6%) to a dietician. Significantly more postgraduate trainee doctors: recognized the availability of non-invasive investigations for NAFLD (P?=?0.01) and read guidelines on NAFLD (P?=?0.02) compared to non-trainee doctors. As a whole, a majority (57.2%) had not attended a lecture or read a guideline on NAFLD. The barriers for management included: lack of confidence 70 (50.7%) and time constraints 58 (42%).
Project description:Background and Aim:The incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is increasing all over the world. NAFLD develops in patients with liver disease, including patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). NAFLD and AIH have some similar laboratory and histological findings. The aim of this study was to elucidate the characteristics of AIH patients with NAFLD. Methods:We re-evaluated the nationwide survey performed in Japan in 2015 of AIH patients diagnosed between 2009 and 2013. Results:A total of 1151 subjects (144 men and 1007 women) were enrolled in the present study. The overall prevalence of NAFLD was 17.0%. Compared to AIH without NAFLD, AIH patients with NAFLD had the following characteristics: (i) low female-to-male ratio, (ii) older age, (iii) mild elevation in hepatobiliary enzymes, (iv) histologically progressive fibrosis and mild plasma cell infiltration or mild lobular hepatitis, (v) lower prevalence of prednisolone administration and higher prevalence of ursodeoxycholic acid administration, (vi) higher levels of hepatic enzymes and immunoglobulin G after treatment, and (vii) similar prevalence of autoimmune and malignant complications. Conclusion:AIH patients with NAFLD have many features that are different from AIH patients without NAFLD. Understanding these differences is essential for the proper diagnosis and treatment of AIH patients with NAFLD.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the leading cause of chronic liver disease in the United States. However, few data are available on recent trends in the incidence and prevalence of NAFLD in the U.S.We analyzed the national Veterans Administration databases from 2003 to 2011 and calculated the age-adjusted prevalence and incidence of NAFLD for the overall sample of patients and by demographic subgroups. We used a previously validated algorithm to define NAFLD, which was based on persistent increases in levels of liver enzymes in the absence of positive results from tests for hepatitis C or hepatitis B or evidence of excessive alcohol use.Of the 9,784,541 patients with at least 1 visit to the Veterans Administration between 2003 and 2011, 1,330,600 patients (13.6%) had NAFLD. The annual incidence rates of NAFLD remained stable (from 2.2% to 3.2%) during the study duration. The prevalence of NAFLD increased from 6.3% in 2003 (95% confidence interval, 6.26%-6.3%) to 17.6% in 2011 (95% confidence interval, 17.58%-17.65%), a 2.8-fold increase. The incidence and prevalence increased at significantly greater rates in patients younger than 45 years vs older patients.In a U.S. population, the annual incidence of NAFLD ranges from 2% to 3%. The prevalence of NAFLD more than doubled from 2003 through 2011; it is likely to continue to increase because of a steady overall incidence coupled with a rising incidence in younger individuals.
Project description:Background & Aims:NAFLD is a growing health concern. The aim of the Fatty Liver Assessment in Germany (FLAG) study was to assess disease burden and provide data on the standard of care from secondary care. Methods:The FLAG study is an observational real-world study in patients with NAFLD enrolled at 13 centres across Germany. Severity of disease was assessed by non-invasive surrogate scores and data recorded at baseline and 12 months. Results:In this study, 507 patients (mean age 53 years; 47% women) were enrolled. According to fibrosis-4 index, 64%, 26%, and 10% of the patients had no significant fibrosis, indeterminate stage, and advanced fibrosis, respectively. Patients with advanced fibrosis were older, had higher waist circumferences, and higher aspartate aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyltransferase as well as ferritin levels. The prevalence of obesity, arterial hypertension, and type 2 diabetes increased with fibrosis stages. Standard of care included physical exercise >2 times per week in 17% (no significant fibrosis), 19% (indeterminate), and 6% (advanced fibrosis) of patients. Medication with either vitamin E, silymarin, or ursodeoxycholic acid was reported in 5%. Approximately 25% of the patients received nutritional counselling. According to the FibroScan-AST score, 17% of patients presented with progressive non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (n = 107). On follow-up at year 1 (n = 117), weight loss occurred in 47% of patients, of whom 17% lost more than 5% of body weight. In the weight loss group, alanine aminotransferase activities were reduced by 20%. Conclusions:This is the first report on NAFLD from a secondary-care real-world cohort in Germany. Every 10th patient presented with advanced fibrosis at baseline. Management consisted of best supportive care and lifestyle recommendations. The data highlight the urgent need for systematic health agenda in NAFLD patients. Lay summary:FLAG is a real-world cohort study that examined the liver disease burden in secondary and tertiary care. Herein, 10% of patients referred to secondary care for NAFLD exhibited advanced liver disease, whilst 64% had no significant liver scarring. These findings underline the urgent need to define patient referral pathways for suspected liver disease.
Project description:There is growing evidence that links nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) with impairment of renal function. As such, we aimed to demonstrate the trend of NAFLD, NAFLD with renal insufficiency (RI), disease awareness, and mortality over time. Patient data were extracted from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2016. A total of 14,255 adult study participants without competing liver disease or heavy drinking and with complete laboratory data were included. NAFLD was defined using the U.S. Fatty Liver Index (USFLI) and RI was defined using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation and urine albumin:creatinine ratio. Death data were obtained from the National Death Index (up to December 31, 2015). Prevalence of NAFLD in participants was 31.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 30.01-32.46); of these participants, 22.05% (95% CI, 20.34-23.85) had RI. From 1999 to 2016, prevalence of both NAFLD without RI (P = 0.048) and NAFLD-RI (P = 0.006) increased significantly. Among those with NAFLD-RI, awareness of kidney disease was 8.56% (95% CI, 6.69-10.89), while awareness of liver disease among all NAFLD was 4.49% (95% CI, 3.17-6.33). Among those with NAFLD, mortality incidence per 1,000 person years was highest among those with severe RI in all-cause mortality (104.4; 95% CI, 83.65-130.39) and other residual causes of mortality (mean, 50.88; 95% CI, 37.02-69.93). Conclusion: Prevalence of NAFLD and NAFLD-RI has increased over the past 2 decades in the United States. Low kidney disease and liver disease awareness are major public health issues as those with NAFLD-RI have significantly higher mortality than those with only NAFLD.
Project description:Background and Aim:The effect of cannabis use on chronic liver disease (CLD) from Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection, the most common cause of CLD, has been controversial. Here, we investigated the impact of cannabis use on the prevalence of CLD among HCV infected individuals. Methods:We analyzed hospital discharge records of adults (age ? 18 years) with a positive HCV diagnosis. We evaluated records from 2007 to 2014 of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS). We excluded records with other causes of chronic liver diseases (alcohol, hemochromatosis, NAFLD, PBC, HBV, etc.). Of the 188,333 records, we matched cannabis users to nonusers on 1:1 ratio (4,728:4,728), using a propensity-based matching system, with a stringent algorithm. We then used conditional regression models with generalized estimating equations to measure the adjusted prevalence rate ratio (aPRR) for having liver cirrhosis (and its complications), carcinoma, mortality, discharge disposition, and the adjusted mean ratio (aMR) of total hospital cost and length of stay (LOS) [SAS 9.4]. Results:Our study revealed that cannabis users (CUs) had decreased prevalence of liver cirrhosis (aPRR: 0.81[0.72-0.91]), unfavorable discharge disposition (0.87[0.78-0.96]), and lower total health care cost ($39,642[36,220-43,387] versus $45,566[$42,244-$49,150]), compared to noncannabis users (NCUs). However, there was no difference among CUs and NCUs on the incidence of liver carcinoma (0.79[0.55-1.13]), in-hospital mortality (0.84[0.60-1.17]), and LOS (5.58[5.10-6.09] versus 5.66[5.25-6.01]). Among CUs, dependent cannabis use was associated with lower prevalence of liver cirrhosis, compared to nondependent use (0.62[0.41-0.93]). Conclusions:Our findings suggest that cannabis use is associated with decreased incidence of liver cirrhosis, but no change in mortality nor LOS among HCV patients. These novel observations warrant further molecular mechanistic studies.