Background: The association between metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) lacks clinical validation in at-risk populations. We assessed this relationship among chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. Methods: Data was collected from the National Health Insurance System database in South Korea. Chronic hepatitis B patients aged over 40 years receiving health examinations between 2011 and 2012 were recruited. The primary outcome was HCC. Metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease was defined as hepatic steatosis in combination with at least one of the following: (i) overweight, (ii) diabetes, or (iii) lean/normal weight with two or more metabolic components. Multivariable Cox regression analysis was used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs). Results: Of 197 346 participants, 66 149 had MAFLD; 19 149, 44 475, and 2525 fulfilled diabetes (regardless of overweight), overweight alone, and lean/normal weight with two or more metabolic components, respectively. During follow-up (median 7 years), 13 771 developed HCC. Metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease was independently associated with increased risk of HCC, with aHR of 1.36 (p < 0.001). Propensity score matching confirmed the same phenomena, with aHR of 1.37 (p < 0.001). Furthermore, when stratified by liver cirrhosis and/or antiviral therapy, independent significances of MAFLD for HCC risk were maintained (all p < 0.001). Compared with the persistent non-MAFLD subgroup during the entire follow-up, diagnosis of MAFLD from at least one health examination significantly increased HCC risk with aHRs of 1.41, 1.37, and 1.14 among subgroups with persistent MAFLD, MAFLD to non-MAFLD, and non-MAFLD to MAFLD, respectively (all p < 0.05). Conclusions: Metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease consistently increases HCC risk among CHB patients. Further studies are needed to develop an effective preventive strategy through control of metabolic health.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 2022 Dec|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank Editage ( https://www.editage.co.kr ) for English language editing. This work was supported by the Korea Health Industry Development Institute through “Social and Environmental Risk Research” funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (HI19C0052, URL: https://www.khidi.or.kr/kps ).
© 2022 The Japan Society of Hepatology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases