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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Combined effect of PNPLA3, TM6SF2, and HSD17B13 variants on risk of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in the general population

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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: We hypothesized that a genetic risk score (GRS) for fatty liver disease influences the risk of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Three genetic variants (patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 [PNPLA3] p.I148M; transmembrane 6, superfamily member 2 [TM6SF2] p.E167K; and hydroxysteroid 17-beta dehydrogenase 13 [HSD17B13] rs72613567) were combined into a risk score, ranging from 0 to 6 for risk-increasing alleles.

APPROACH AND RESULTS: We examined the association of the risk score with plasma markers of liver disease and with cirrhosis and HCC in 110,761 individuals from Copenhagen, Denmark, and 334,691 individuals from the UK Biobank. The frequencies of risk scores of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 or 6 were 5%, 25%, 41%, 23%, 5.5%, and 0.5%, respectively. A higher GRS was associated with an increase in plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level of 26% in those with score 5 or 6 versus 0. In meta-analysis of the Copenhagen studies and the UK Biobank, individuals with scores 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 or 6 had odds ratios (ORs) for cirrhosis of 1.6 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3, 1.9), 2.0 (95% CI, 1.8, 2.2), 3.1 (95% CI, 2.7, 3.5), 5.2 (95% CI, 4.2, 6.4), and 12 (95% CI, 7.7, 19), respectively, as compared with those with a score of 0. The corresponding ORs for HCC were 1.2 (95% CI, 0.9, 1.7), 1.0 (95% CI, 0.7, 1.3), 2.4 (95% CI, 1.9, 3.0), 3.3 (95% CI, 2.2, 5.0), and 29 (95% CI, 17, 51).

CONCLUSION: A GRS for fatty liver disease confers up to a 12-fold higher risk of cirrhosis and up to a 29-fold higher risk of HCC in individuals from the general population.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHepatology (Baltimore, Md.)
Volume72
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)845-856
Number of pages12
ISSN0270-9139
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

ID: 61422003