Alcoholic, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease both tied to coronary artery calcification

13 Dec 2018

Both alcoholic (AFLD) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are associated with a heightened risk of prevalent subclinical atherosclerosis, a study has found.

The cross-sectional study included 105,328 Korean adults who attended a health check-up programme. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) score was measured using computer tomography, liver fat was evaluated by ultrasound, and daily alcohol intake was recorded as grams/day.

Logistic regression analysis revealed a positive association between CAC score and both NAFLD and AFLD. Compared with the absence of excessive alcohol use and fatty liver disease, NAFLD and AFLD was associated with up to a 20-percent increased risk of CAC >0 (odds ratio [OR], 1.10; 95 percent CI, 1.05–1.16 and OR, 1.20; 1.11–1.30, respectively).

Of note, AFLD was associated with higher CAC compared with NAFLD. The corresponding OR was 1.09 (1.01–1.17; p=0.021).

The associations of NAFLD and AFLD with CAC scores were robust to sensitivity analysis and persisted across subgroups of nonobese and obese individuals, mild and moderate–severe steatosis and low and intermediate–high fibrosis scores.

According to researchers, the present data suggest that AFLD is also a metabolic liver disease carrying an increased risk of subclinical coronary atherosclerosis.

As such, preventive measures are needed to ameliorate cardiovascular risk in both NAFLD and AFLD.

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