Fatty liver, cirrhosis double mortality risk in COVID-19
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Through an international registry presented at the Digital International Liver Congress, experts found COVID-19 in the presence of liver disease like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or cirrhosis conferred a greater risk for mortality and morbidity.

“From everything that was written in the press when it comes to the pandemic, it was clear that comorbidities play a role in the outcome,” Prof. Thomas Berg, MD, head of the section of hepatology at the University Hospital in Leipzig, Germany, said during a virtual press briefing prior to the Congress. “Cardiovascular risk factors were well known ... but you don’t see anything about the liver.”

Berg showed the correlation between obesity and chronic liver disease with mortality during the pandemic. Berg showed the correlation between obesity and chronic liver disease with mortality during the pandemic.

“The most common form [of chronic liver disease] is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and according to recent statistics, up to 25% of the world’s population may have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and clearly linked to obesity, also a risk factor for COVID-19,” Berg said. “It seems to be especially a problem for the younger adults being less than 60 years old and if they have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease the risk of dying is nearly twofold.”

This correlation was not seen in older patients with COVID-19, but Berg attributed that to other comorbidities possibly masking the impact of NAFLD on COVID-19 risk.

In this registry of more than 1,000 patients with liver disease, Berg showed that non-cirrhotic liver disease did not confer an additional risk with COVID-19 but once a patient developed cirrhosis, their risk increases. The proportion of patients who required ICU admission increased along the lines of liver disease severity (P < .001), Berg showed, as did mortality (P < .001).

Source: https://www.healio.com/news/hepatology/20200828/fatty-liver-cirrhosis-double-mortality-risk-in-covid19
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