Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the liver manifestation of metabolic syndrome, a risk factor for mortality and cardiovascular morbidity, but we ignore the role of steatosis per se in survival, and there is very little information about this condition in the geriatric patient.
With the present study, we investigated the independent prognostic value of NAFLD on overall mortality in the elderly.
Within the Pianoro Project, involving people ≥ 65 years, anamnestic, clinical and laboratoristic data related to NAFLD, insulin resistance, diabetes/hyperglycemia, hypertension, obesity and dyslipidemia were collected in 804 subjects (403 male, 401 female). These subjects were followed up for mortality for a median time of 12.6 years. A multivariate analysis was performed to evaluate the prognostic value of the covariates.
At Kaplan-Meier estimator the presence of NAFLD seems to be associated to a lower mortality, and survival tends to increase with the increasing of steatosis grade. Cox’s analysis found that survival is increased for subjects having hypercholesterolemia (RR = 0.565), NAFLD (RR = 0.777), hypertension (RR = 0.711) and in female (RR = 0.741), while it is decreased for the older subjects (RR = 3.046), in patients with hypertriglyceridemia (RR = 1.699) and for diabetics (RR = 1.797). The variables BMI and HDL-cholesterol have no role.
The data obtained in our study show that NAFLD is not associated to overall mortality in the elderly population.