Advanced fibrosis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with an increased risk of mortality; however, an independent association of liver fibrosis with mortality is not well defined. We aimed to investigate the association between advanced liver fibrosis and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality and the mediation effect of diet quality. We analyzed 35,531 participants with suspected NAFLD, excluding competing etiologies of chronic liver disease, from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007–2015, and followed up until 31 December 2019. The severity of liver fibrosis was assessed using the NAFLD fibrosis score (NFS) and the fibrosis-4 index (FIB-4). The Cox proportional hazards model was used to examine the association of advanced liver fibrosis with mortality. During a mean 8.1 years of follow-up, 3426 deaths occurred. Advanced liver fibrosis determined by NFS and FIB-4 was associated with increased risks of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality after adjusting for confounders. When NFS and FIB-4 were combined, the high NFS + high FIB-4 group was significantly associated with higher risks of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 1.85, 95% CI 1.42–2.43) and cardiovascular mortality (HR 2.04, 95% CI 1.23–3.39), respectively, compared with the low NFS + low FIB-4 group. However, these associations were attenuated in people with high diet quality. Advanced liver fibrosis is an independent risk factor for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in people with NAFLD, and the association between advanced liver fibrosis and mortality is modified by a high-quality diet.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2020R1A2C2005580).
© 2023 by the authors.
- liver cirrhosis
- nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics