- 1Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Infectious Diseases, University Hospital Duesseldorf, Medical Faculty of Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf.
- 2Department of Surgery (A), University Hospital Duesseldorf, Medical Faculty of Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf, Duesseldorf.
- 3Epidemiology, IQVIA, Frankfurt, Germany.
Objective: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the most common liver disease worldwide and represents the leading cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality. Its all-cause mortality is often driven by co-existing metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes (T2DM), which share many pathophysiological characteristics. The risk of developing T2DM among NAFLD patients in Germany is only poorly described.
Methods: A cohort of 17 245 NAFLD patients and a propensity score-matched cohort of equal size were identified from the Disease Analyzer database (IQVIA) between 2005 and 2020. The incidence of T2DM was evaluated as a function of NAFLD during a 5-year study period using Cox-regression models.
Results: Within 5 years of the index date, 18.8% and 11.7% of individuals with and without NAFLD were diagnosed with T2DM ( P < 0.001). Regression analysis revealed a hazard ratio of 1.77 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.68-1.88] for the development of T2DM among NAFLD patients. Subgroup analyses confirmed this association for all age groups (18-50, 51-60, 61-70 and >70 years), male and female patients, as well as normal weight (BMI < 25 kg/m 2 ), overweighted (BMI 25-30 kg/m 2 ) and obese (BMI > 30 kg/m 2 ) patients.
Conclusion: Our data revealed a significantly increased incidence of T2DM among NAFLD patients in Germany. Given the dramatically increasing global relevance of NAFLD, we believe that prevention and regular screening programs for T2DM in NAFLD patients could help to reduce its high mortality and morbidity in the future.