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Abstract

Coffee caffeine consumption (CC) is associated with reduced hepatic fibrosis in patients with chronic liver diseases, such as hepatitis C. The association of CC with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has not been established. The aim of this study was to correlate CC with the prevalence and severity of NAFLD. Patients involved in a previously published NAFLD prevalence study, as well as additional NASH patients identified in the Brooke Army Medical Center Hepatology clinic, were queried about their caffeine intake. A validated questionnaire for CC was utilized to assess for a relationship between caffeine and four groups: ultrasound negative (controls), bland steatosis/not-NASH, NASH stage 0-1, and NASH stage 2-4. A total of 306 patients responded to the CC questionnaire. Average milligrams of total caffeine/coffee CC per day in controls, bland steatosis/not-NASH, NASH stage 0-1, and NASH stage 2-4 were 307/228, 229/160, 351/255, and 252/152, respectively. When comparing patients with bland steatosis/not-NASH to those with NASH stage 0-1, there was a significant difference in CC between the two groups (P = 0.005). Additionally, when comparing patients with NASH stage 0-1 to those with NASH stage 2-4, there was a significant difference in coffee CC (P = 0.016). Spearman's rank correlation analysis further supported a negative relationship between coffee CC and hepatic fibrosis (r = −0.215; P = 0.035). Conclusion: Coffee CC is associated with a significant reduction in risk of fibrosis among NASH patients. (Hepatology 2012)