The Framingham risk score and heart disease in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease



Paul Angulo, MD, FACG, AGAF

Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition

University of Kentucky Medical Center

800 Rose Street, Rm MN649

Lexington, KY 40536-0298, USA

Tel: +1 859 323 3555

Fax: +1 859 257 8860



The accuracy of the Framingham risk score (FRS) in identifying patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) at higher 10-year coronary heart disease (CHD) risk remains unknown. We aimed at evaluating both the baseline probability of CHD as predicted by the FRS and the actual long-term occurrence of CHD in NAFLD patients. This was a longitudinal study of a community-based cohort. A total of 309 NAFLD patients were followed up for 11.5 ± 4.1 years (total 3554 person-years). The overall calculated 10-year CHD risk was significantly higher in the NAFLD cohort than the absolute CHD risk predicted by the FRS for persons of the same age and gender (10.9 ± 9.3% vs. 9.9 ± 5.9%, respectively, P < 0.0001), and higher in men than women (12.6 ± 10.3% vs. 9.6 ± 8.1%, respectively, P = 0.006). New onset CHD occurred in 34 patients (11% vs. 10.9% predicted at baseline, P = NS), whereas 279 (89%) patients did not develop CHD. Using multivariable analysis, the FRS was the only variable significantly associated with new onset CHD (OR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.05–1.21; P = 0.001). A FRS cut-point of 11 in women, and 6 in men had a sensitivity of 80% and 74%, respectively, and a negative predictive value of 97% and 93% respectively. NAFLD patients have a higher 10-year CHD risk than the general population of the same age and gender. The FRS accurately predicts the higher 10-year CHD risk in NAFLD patients, and helps identify those patients expected to derive the most benefit from early intervention to prevent CHD events.