The primary drivers of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis vary by race.
Publishing their findings in the journal Hepatology, researchers analyzed the prevalence of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis according to their underlying causes among members of the Multiethnic Cohort.
The Multiethnic Cohort is a prospective cohort of more than 215,000 U.S. residents 45 to 75 years old who were enrolled between 1993 and 1996. For this study, the investigators looked at Medicare claims from 1999 to 2012 pertaining to 106,458 members of the cohort.
A total of 5,783 people had chronic liver disease, including 3,575 who had cirrhosis and 2,208 who did not. The prevalence of chronic liver disease ranged from 3.9 percent among African Americans and Native Hawaiians to 4.1 percent in whites, 6.7 percent in Latinos and 6.9 percent in Japanese Americans.
Among the entire group of people with chronic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) was the most common cause, accounting for 52 percent, followed by alcoholic liver disease, at 21 percent.
NAFLD was the most common cause of cirrhosis in the entire cohort as well as among Japanese Americans, native Hawaiians and Latinos. Alcoholic liver disease was the most common cause of cirrhosis among whites. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) was the most common cause of cirrhosis among African Americans.
To read the study abstract, click here.