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Sex and racial disparities in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease-related cardiovascular events: National inpatient sample analysis (2019).

BACKGROUND: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) increases cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk irrespective of other risk factors. However, large-scale cardiovascular sex and race differences are poorly understood.

AIM: To investigate the relationship between NAFLD and major cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) in subgroups using a nationally representative United States inpatient sample.

METHODS: We examined National Inpatient Sample (2019) to identify adult hospitalizations with NAFLD by age, sex, and race using ICD-10-CM codes. Clinical and demographic characteristics, comorbidities, and MACCE-related mortality, acute myocardial infarction (AMI), cardiac arrest, and stroke were compared in NAFLD cohorts by sex and race. Multivariable regression analyses were adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, hospitalization features, and comorbidities.

RESULTS: We examined 409130 hospitalizations [median 55 (IQR 43-66) years] with NFALD. NAFLD was more common in females (1.2%), Hispanics (2%), and Native Americans (1.9%) than whites. Females often reported non-elective admissions, Medicare enrolment, the median age of 55 (IQR 42-67), and poor income. Females had higher obesity and uncomplicated diabetes but lower hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and complicated diabetes than males. Hispanics had a median age of 48 (IQR 37-60), were Medicaid enrollees, and had non-elective admissions. Hispanics had greater diabetes and obesity rates than whites but lower hypertension and hyperlipidemia. MACCE, all-cause mortality, AMI, cardiac arrest, and stroke were all greater in elderly individuals ( P < 0.001). MACCE, AMI, and cardiac arrest were more common in men ( P < 0.001). Native Americans (aOR 1.64) and Asian Pacific Islanders (aOR 1.18) had higher all-cause death risks than whites.

CONCLUSION: Increasing age and male sex link NAFLD with adverse MACCE outcomes; Native Americans and Asian Pacific Islanders face higher mortality, highlighting a need for tailored interventions and care.

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