Increased risk of chronic kidney disease and mortality in a cohort of people diagnosed with metabolic dysfunction associated steatotic liver disease with hepatic fibrosis

Marc Gurun (Lead / Corresponding author), Paul Brennan, Sava Handjiev, Aseil Khatib, Damien Leith, John F. Dillon, Christopher J. Byrne

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Abstract

Background and aims: Metabolic dysfunction associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) increases the risk of incident chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, the relative risk of CKD associated with increasing hepatic fibrosis, and consequent mortality risk, remains underexplored in real-world cohorts. In this study, we sought to establish whether hepatic fibrosis is associated with increased CKD risk and explore differences in mortality risk in a cohort of people living with MASLD, contingent on liver fibrosis and CKD status.

Methods: This was an observational study of people who underwent routine liver function testing in Tayside, Scotland. MASLD was defined as: elevated ALT (>30 U/L) or GGT (>73 U/L); presence of diabetes, and/or hypertension, and/or obesity; weekly alcohol consumption <14 units (112g (+/-8g) alcohol); and negative screen for other aetiologies. Data was collected from digital health records. We used log-binomial models to quantify the risk of CKD among those with and without fibrosis, and Cox regression models to estimate differences in mortality risk dependent on fibrosis and CKD.

Results: In our cohort (n = 2,046), 1,448 (70.8%) people had MASLD without fibrosis and 598 (29.2%) with fibrosis; 161 (11.1%) and 117 (19.6%) respectively also had CKD. After excluding individuals with structural, autoimmune, or malignant CKD (n = 22), liver fibrosis (n = 593; 18.9% with CKD) was associated with increased CKD risk (aRR = 1.31, 1.04–1.64, p = 0.021). Increased mortality risk was observed for those with liver fibrosis (aHR = 2.30, 1.49–3.56, p = <0.001) and was higher again among people with both fibrosis and CKD (aHR = 5.07, 3.07–8.39, p = <0.014).

Conclusions: Liver fibrosis was an independent risk factor for CKD in this cohort of people living with MASLD. Furthermore, those with MASLD with liver fibrosis had higher risk for mortality and this risk was further elevated among those with co-morbid CKD. Given the increased risk of CKD, and consequent mortality risk, among people living with MASLD fibrosis, renal function screening should be considered within liver health surveillance programmes and guidelines.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0299507
Number of pages17
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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