SAN DIEGO – Those at risk for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, may be under-recognized in primary care, according to study findings presented at Digestive Disease Week.
“Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease affects 80 million Americans and is associated with metabolic syndrome,” Namphuong Tran, MD, of California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, and colleagues wrote. “Patients with NAFLD and NASH can be clinically asymptomatic as they progress to cirrhosis; early identification is essential for preventing disease progression.”
Researchers conducted a retrospective review of medical records from adults aged 50 years and older diagnosed with diabetes who were seen between 2013 and 2016. Those included in the study were determined to be at greater risk for NASH advanced fibrosis. After exclusions, the study cohort was composed of 110 patients with a mean age of 69 years and an average BMI of 27.31 kg/m2 (+/- 3.5 kg/m2).
Researchers found that 59% of patients had an intermediate risk for advanced fibrosis, 26.3% were low risk and 14.5% were high risk.
In patients with ultrasounds available, 75.9% of those in the high-risk group and 24.1% of patients in the low-risk group were determined to have features indicative of advanced fibrosis. Nine patients were referred to a hepatologist.
Tran and colleagues explained that the NAFLD Fibrosis Score “is a simple, validated clinical equation” to help identify these patients in a primary care setting and to help reduce the occurrence of advanced disease.
For more Healio coverage of this study, please click here. – by Erin Michael and Julia Ernst, MS
Tran N, et al. Abstract Sa1643. Presented at: Digestive Disease Week; May 18-21, 2019; San Diego.
Disclosures: Tran reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the abstract for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.