PREVALENCE OF LIVER FIBROSIS AND STEATOSIS USING VIBRATION-CONTROLLED TRANSIENT ELASTOGRAPHY IN INDIVIDUALS EMPLOYED IN A NORTH-EASTERN ROMANIAN INDUSTRIAL COMPANY
Liver cirrhosis is considered the final stage of liver fibrosis progression and the leading cause of worldwide mortality due to liver diseases. Certain liver infections, such as viral hepatitis B (VHB) and C (VHC), alcohol-related liver disease (ALD), and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) were found to be significant contributors to liver cirrhosis development. The aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of liver steatosis and fibrosis in individuals from the industrial field in the Northeastern region of Romania. Material and methods: Five hundred and sixty adult asymptomatic participants, all employees of a large bakery enterprise, were selected for this study. After informed consent was obtained, the demographical, clinical, and physiological description was made for each participant. AUDIT-C questionnaire was applied to each participant. VCTE (Fibroscan) was used to measure liver fibrosis, and hepatitis virus B and C presence was screened using rapid blood tests. Results: We found that 56.25% of the screened participants were from rural areas, and 65.7% were male. In our study, 54.64% declared that they had a smoking history, and only 1.7% received blood transfusions in the past. Moreover, 61% of the patients had a body mass index above the normal limit, 1.7% of the participants were positive for the presence of HBs antigen, while 2.85% exhibited HCV antibody-positive titer. During VCTE examinations, for the majority of the patients M probe was used (75.2%). Liver fibrosis was found in 33.2% of the participants, and liver cirrhosis in 8.2% of the cohort. Increased severity of liver steatosis was observed in 33.4% of the patients. Conclusions: By screening a cohort of apparently clinically healthy individuals residing in the Northeastern part of Romania and having different socioeconomic profiles, we observed that the frequency of advanced fibrosis is more increased, as compared to available data.
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