Fatty liver disease (FLD) has been identified as constituting cardiometabolic risk. However, evidence on the association of fatty liver index (FLI) with cardiovascular disease (CVD) is largely cross-sectional, with limited evidence on the predictability of incident CVD, and specifically, acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Therefore, we aimed to investigate the prospective associations between fatty liver as estimated by FLI and incident CVD, and specifically AMI, in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study cohort.Patients and methods
Our patients were 1205 middle-aged men free of CVD at baseline. The associations of baseline FLI with incident CVD and incident AMI were analyzed using multivariable-adjusted Cox regression models.Results
During a median follow-up of 17 years, a total of 690 incident cases of CVD and 269 cases of AMI were recorded through Finnish registries. For incident CVD, for the high (FLI≥60) versus the low (≤30) FLI category, the hazard ratio (HR) was 1.77 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.46–2.14] in the minimally adjusted model. With increasing adjustment, the association was attenuated progressively. In the most adjusted model, the HR was 1.41 (95% CI: 1.10–1.79). For incident AMI, for the high FLI category, the HR was 1.65 (95% CI: 1.22–2.23) in the minimally adjusted model, but in most comprehensive models when we included metabolic factors, the HR was not significant (HR=1.136, 95% CI: 0.777–1.662).Conclusion
FLI can predict incident CVD. However, the predictability of AMI using FLI is subject to interactions of metabolic factors. Individuals with FLI in the moderate to high category should be evaluated and monitored for subclinical or overt cardiovascular (including coronary) disease.