The presence of fatty liver disease is not associated with mortality. Screening for fatty liver disease or fibrosis will not improve outcomes among older adults.
The study on the impact of fatty liver disease on mortality was published in the journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Hepatology. The results showed that the presence of fatty liver disease does not increase mortality among the elderly.
A prospective cohort study of 4 thousand patients over 65 years of age was conducted from 2009 to 2014. Observation continued until 2018.
Results were consistent across clinically relevant subgroups, including age, gender, presence of metabolic syndrome or cardiovascular disease, and elevated liver enzymes. Sensitivity analyzes after five years of follow-up showed similar results for cancer and cardiovascular mortality. Additionally, among participants with steatosis, higher liver stiffness was not associated with mortality.
Fatty liver disease has become the most common cause of chronic liver disease in many Western countries. An association has been established between the presence of fatty liver disease and an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Screening strategies target individuals with clinical risk factors for fatty liver disease or biochemical features suggestive of liver disease. The prevalence of metabolic comorbidities is increasing, and an increasing number of patients will be subject to liver evaluation. This is especially true for older people.
The findings do not support screening for fatty liver disease or fibrosis among older adults due to the lack of impact on outcomes, the researchers concluded.