26 August 2022 In Liver Disease

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of fatty liver disease is potentially increasing in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) due to the obesity and alcohol pandemics. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of alcohol-associated fatty liver disease (ALD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in a representative U.S. cohort utilizing transient elastography to directly measure hepatic steatosis and suspected fibrosis.

METHODS: AYAs (age 15-39 years) with valid FibroScan((R)) measurements in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) database (2017-2018) were included in the analyses. Those with viral hepatitis, pregnancy, or ALT/AST > 500 U/L were excluded. The population was divided into those with excessive alcohol consumption (ALQ130) and those without. Controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) score >/= 248 dB/m was used to identify suspected ALD and NAFLD. In those with evidence of ALD, the following cutoffs of liver stiffness measurement (LSM) were used for suspected fibrosis: F >/= F2 at LSM >/= 7.5 kPa and F >/= F3 at >/= 9.5 kPa, respectively. In those with suspected NAFLD, the following LSM cutoffs were used: F >/= F2 at 6.1 and F >/= F3 at >/= 7.1, respectively. Cutoffs were chosen based on published literature to maximize sensitivity.

RESULTS: Comparing to those without, subjects with excessive alcohol consumption tended to be older (29.8 vs 28.5 years), have a higher BMI (29.3 vs 28.9 kg/m2), and be from a White ethnicity (65.3% vs. 55.4%). In subjects with excessive alcohol consumption, suspected ALD was present in 56.59% (95% CI 41.57-70.49). In those with suspected ALD, suspected significant fibrosis (F >/= F2) was present in 12.3% (95% CI 4.74-28.34) and advanced fibrosis (F >/= F3) was present in 6.31% (95% CI 0.69-39.55). Similarly, in subjects without excessive alcohol consumption, suspected NAFLD was present in 40.04% (36.64-43.54). In those with suspected NAFLD, suspected significant fibrosis (F >/= F2) was present in 31.07% (27.25-35.16) and suspected advanced fibrosis (F >/= F3) was present in 20.15% (16.05-24.99).

CONCLUSION: A significant percentage of AYAs are at risk for ALD and NAFLD and a subset of these subjects is at risk for significant fibrosis. Efforts should focus on increasing awareness of the prevalence of ALD and NAFLD in this population and to mitigate modifiable risk factors.

13 October 2020 In Liver Disease
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide, with a prevalence of 25-30%. Since its first description in 1980, NAFLD has been conceived as a different entity from alcohol-related fatty liver disease (ALD), despite that, both diseases have an overlap in the pathophysiology, share genetic-epigenetic factors, and frequently coexist. Both entities are characterized by a broad spectrum of histological features ranging from isolated steatosis to steatohepatitis and cirrhosis. Distinction between NAFLD and ALD is based on the amount of consumed alcohol, which has been arbitrarily established. In this context, a proposal of positive criteria for NAFLD diagnosis not considering exclusion of alcohol consumption as a prerequisite criterion for diagnosis had emerged, recognizing the possibility of a dual etiology of fatty liver in some individuals. The impact of moderate alcohol use on the severity of NAFLD is ill-defined. Some studies suggest protective effects in moderate doses, but current evidence shows that there is no safe threshold for alcohol consumption for NAFLD. In fact, given the synergistic effect between alcohol consumption, obesity, and metabolic dysfunction, it is likely that alcohol use serves as a significant risk factor for the progression of liver disease in NAFLD and metabolic syndrome. This also affects the incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma. In this review, we summarize the overlapping pathophysiology of NAFLD and ALD, the current data on alcohol consumption in patients with NAFLD, and the effects of metabolic dysfunction and overweight in ALD.

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