Mexican Americans in south Texas have among highest rates of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in the US. Non-invasive measures of liver fibrosis are needed to identify those at high risk of HCC. The purpose of the study was to determine the prevalence of and factors associated with liver fibrosis using acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) elastography, an accurate and non-invasive modality, in the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort (CCHC). Methods. The CCHC is a well characterized population-based cohort in south Texas. Liver stiffness was measured by ARFI in 404 participants in the CCHC by two separate operators. Median liver stiffness > 1.34 m/s was considered significant (F2-F4) fibrosis. Ultrasound was used to determine presence of steatosis. Absence of HCV and HBsAg antigen, and absence of heavy drinking, was considered non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We calculated design-based prevalence of fibrosis and determined clinical associations with (1) significant fibrosis and (2) simple steatosis using multinomial logistic regression. Results. Mean age was 51.1 years, 44.6% were male, and 29.1% had diabetes. The prevalence of significant fibrosis was 16.5%. In the fibrosis group, most (47/57, 84%) had NAFLD. We excluded participants with etiologies other than NAFLD for further analyses. After adjustment for age and sex, hypertension [Odds Ratio (OR) 3.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1–8.1), platelet count (OR 0.6, 95% CI, 0.5–1.0), and potassium level (OR 1.5, 95% CI, 1.1–2.0) were significantly associated with fibrosis, but not steatosis. HDL cholesterol (OR 0.5, 95% CI, 0.4–0.7), obesity (OR 2.2, 95% CI, 1.2–4.0) and insulin level (OR 2.1, 95% CI, 1.2–3.7) were significantly associated with steatosis, but not fibrosis. Elevated fasting glucose, diabetes, and elevated ALT levels were significantly associated with both steatosis and fibrosis. Conclusion. This is the first population-based application of liver elastography in the US. We find a high prevalence of fibrosis in Mexican Americans, dominated by NAFLD. Our results indicate a higher burden of fibrosis than population-based studies of liver fibrosis conducted elsewhere. We urge community intervention for the early detection of liver disease and prevention of NAFLD-related HCC.
The following are the 17 highest scoring abstracts of those submitted for presentation at the 42nd Annual ASPO meeting held March 11–13, 2018, in New York, NY.