Association between liver fibrosis and incident dementia in the UK Biobank study.

TitleAssociation between liver fibrosis and incident dementia in the UK Biobank study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsParikh NS, Kamel H, Zhang C, Kumar S, Rosenblatt R, Spincemaille P, Gupta A, Cohen DE, de Leon MJ, Gottesman RF, Iadecola C
JournalEur J Neurol
Date Published2022 Jun 06

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: There is growing recognition that chronic liver conditions influence brain health. The impact of liver fibrosis on dementia risk was unclear. We evaluated the association between liver fibrosis and incident dementia in a cohort study.

METHODS: We performed a cohort analysis using data from the UK Biobank study, which prospectively enrolled adults starting in 2007, and continues to follow them. People with a Fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) liver fibrosis score >2.67 were categorized as at high risk of advanced fibrosis. The primary outcome was incident dementia, ascertained using a validated approach. We excluded participants with prevalent dementia at baseline. We used Cox proportional hazards models to evaluate the association between liver fibrosis and dementia while adjusting for potential confounders.

RESULTS: Among 455,226 participants included in this analysis, the mean age was 56.5 years and 54% were women. Approximately 2.17% (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.13%-2.22%) had liver fibrosis. The rate of dementia per 1000 person-years was 1.76 (95% CI 1.50-2.07) in participants with liver fibrosis and 0.52 (95% CI 0.50-0.54) in those without. After adjusting for demographics, socioeconomic deprivation, educational attainment, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and tobacco and alcohol use, liver fibrosis was associated with an increased risk of dementia (hazard ratio 1.52, 95% CI 1.22-1.90). Results were robust to sensitivity analyses. Effect modification by sex, metabolic syndrome, and apolipoprotein E4 carrier status was not observed.

CONCLUSION: Liver fibrosis in middle age was associated with an increased risk of incident dementia, independent of shared risk factors. Liver fibrosis may be an underrecognized risk factor for dementia.

Alternate JournalEur J Neurol
PubMed ID35666174
Grant List / / Florence Gould Endowment for Discovery in Stroke /
/ / Leon Levy Foundation /
Ag073524 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States