1 Betty and Guy Beatty Center for Integrated Research Inova Health System Falls Church VA.
2 Center for Liver Disease, Department of Medicine Inova Fairfax Hospital Falls Church VA.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of mortality in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Our aim was to assess the association of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk scores with overall and cardiac-specific mortality among patients with NAFLD. We used the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III with the National Death Index-linked mortality files. NAFLD was defined by ultrasound as presence of steatosis in the absence of secondary causes of liver disease. High risk for CVD was defined as a 10-year ASCVD score ≥7.5%. Hazard ratios (HRs) and population-attributable fractions (PAFs) of high risk for CVD were calculated. Among 1,262 subjects with NAFLD (47.9% men; 41.2% white; mean age, 56.3 years), the prevalence of high risk for CVD was 55.9% and 4.8% had advanced fibrosis. After a median follow-up of 17.7 years, 482 subjects (38.2%) died of overall causes, of whom 382 (79.3%) had a high risk for CVD. The unadjusted overall and cardiac-specific mortality were higher for patients with NAFLD who had a high risk for CVD compared to subjects with NAFLDwith a low risk for CVD (57.3% vs. 16.8% for overall mortality; 16.4% vs. 3.5% for cardiovascular mortality). After controlling for risk factors associated with mortality, high risk for CVD was associated with a 42% higher overall mortality rate (adjusted HR [aHR], 1.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-1.91) and twice the risk of cardiovascular mortality (aHR, 2.02; 95% CI, 1.12-3.65). Adjusted PAFs were 11.4% for overall mortality and 44.9% for cardiovascular mortality. Conclusion: Among patients with NAFLD, ASCVD score ≥7.5% was associated with a higher risk of overall and cardiac-specific mortality.