The prevalence and predictors of metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease and fibrosis/cirrhosis among adolescents/young adults.

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OBJECTIVES: We investigated the current prevalence of metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) and fibrosis/cirrhosis and identified at-risk populations for MASLD and MASLD-related fibrosis among US adolescents and young adults in the United States.

METHODS: Utilizing the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2017-2020, the prevalence of MASLD and fibrosis/cirrhosis was assessed via controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) score and liver stiffness measurements by transient elastography in participants aged 12-29 years with at least one cardiometabolic criteria and absence of other chronic liver disease. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to determine predictors of MASLD and MASLD-related fibrosis.

RESULTS: The overall prevalence of MASLD was 23.9% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 21.3-26.5 for CAP ≥ 263 dB/m) and 17.3% (95% CI: 14.7-20.0 for ≥285 dB/m), respectively. The prevalence of fibrosis and cirrhosis in MASLD was 11.0% and 3.1%, respectively. When categorized by age, the prevalence of MASLD varied from 16.8% (of which 6.2% [fibrosis], 1.8% [cirrhosis]) in early and middle adolescents (12-17 years), to 25.5% (11.8% [fibrosis], 4.8% [cirrhosis]) in late adolescents and young adults (18-24 years), and to 30.4% (of which 13.2% [fibrosis] and 2.1% [cirrhosis]) in older young adults (25-29 years). The independent predictors for MASLD included male sex, Hispanic, non-Hispanic Asian, body mass index, and low HDL-cholesterol. In contrast, diabetes and body mass index were associated with an increased risk of fibrosis in individuals with MASLD.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of MASLD and related fibrosis in adolescents and young adults in the United States has reached a significant level, with a substantial proportion of cirrhosis.

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Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition





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