Gut Liver.  2022 Sep;16(5):786-797. 10.5009/gnl210290.

Fibrotic Burden Determines Cardiovascular Risk among Subjects with Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Fatty Liver Disease

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Institute of Endocrine Research, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Yonsei Liver Center, Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea


Metabolic dysfunction associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) has recently been introduced to compensate for the conventional concept of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We explored whether fibrotic burden determines the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) among subjects with MAFLD.
We recruited 9,444 participants from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2008 to 2011). Liver fibrosis was identified using the fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) index and NAFLD fibrosis score. The 10-year ASCVD risk score (>10%) was used to determine a high probability ASCVD risk. For sensitivity analysis, propensity score matching was assessed to subjects with aged 40 to 75 years free from ASCVD.
The prevalence of MAFLD was 38.0% (n=3,592). The ASCVD risk scores stratified in quartile were positively correlated to MAFLD and FIB-4 defined-significant liver fibrosis (p for trend <0.001). Individuals with both MAFLD and FIB-4 defined-significant liver fibrosis had a greater chance of high probability ASCVD risk (odds ratio [OR]=2.40; p<0.001) than those without MAFLD. The impact of MAFLD on high probability ASCVD risk was greater than that of significant liver fibrosis (OR=4.72 for MAFLD vs OR=1.88 for FIB-4 defined-significant liver fibrosis; all p<0.001). Among participants with MAFLD, low muscle mass enhanced the risk of significant liver fibrosis (OR=1.56 to 2.43; p<0.001). When NAFLD fibrosis score was applied to define significant liver fibrosis, similar findings were observed.
Individuals with MAFLD had a substantial ASCVD risk compared to those without MAFLD. Accompanying significant liver fibrosis further enhanced the risk of ASCVD among subjects with MAFLD.


Metabolic dysfunction associated fatty liver disease; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Cardiovascular disease; Liver fibrosis
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