Open Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology: Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease among patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Qatar: Prevalence and Risk Factors
- Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Qatar, Prevalence, Risk Factors
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Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been increasingly identified in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), though metabolic risk factors for NAFLD are less frequent in IBD patients. Qatar is among countries characterized by the high prevalence of fatty liver. We aimed to characterize NAFLD in IBD patients and to determine factors associated with its severity.
Methods: A retrospective observational study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of NAFLD in all IBD patients followed at Hamad hospital, Doha, Qatar between January 2008 to December 2017. The associations between two or more qualitative variables were assessed using χ2-test and quantitative data between two independent groups were analyzed using the unpaired t-test. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was applied to determine the predictive values of each predictor for NAFLD among IBD patients.
Results: Among 913 IBD patients with a mean age of 36.9±13.2 years and BMI 26.9±6.1; 550 were males (60.2%), 383(41.9%) with Crohn’s disease and 530 (58.1%) with Ulcerative colitis. 24 (22.2%) patients had severe steatosis. The overall prevalence of NAFLD was 11.8% (95% CI 9.9, 14.1) and does not differ significantly between CD and UC patients (11.7% vs 11.9%; P=0.949).Patients who developed NAFLD were older at baseline (42.6±12.5 vs 36.2±13.1 years; P<0.001), had higher BMI (29.3±5.7 vs 26.6±6.1; P<0.001) and higher prevalence of diabetes (26% vs 10.3%; P<0.001) and hypertension (19% vs 10.3%; P=0.011).Multivariate analysis showed age >40 to 50 years (adjusted OR 2.98; 95% CI 1.62, 5.48; P=0.001), age >50 years (adjusted OR 2.03; 95% CI 1.03, 4.0; P=0.04), BMI > 30 kg/m2 (adjusted OR 2.24; 95% CI 1.28, 3.91; P=0.01) and diabetes mellitus (adjusted OR 1.98; 95% CI 1.15, 3.4; P=0.02) significantly associated with an increased risk of NAFLD. Females were less likely having the risk of NAFLD (adjusted OR 0.58; 95% CI 0.36, 0.93; P = 0.02) in comparison to males. The treatment with biologic does not increase the risk of steatosis. The predicted cutoff NAFLD score ≥ -1.67 had good predictive ability for significant steatosis in IBD cases.
Conclusion: The prevalence of NAFLD is not uncommon among IBD patients in Qatar. Older age, high BMI and diabetes mellitus increase the risk of NAFLD in IBD patients. Patients with risk factors need to be monitored closely and considered for early interventions which can limit the use of more hepatotoxic drugs and can achieve early remission of the disease. Non-invasive screening of NAFLD using NAFLD Score in IBD patients with risk factors could help early diagnosis and treatment of the disease and can easily be implemented in any setting of IBD clinics.
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