Publications & Reports

The emerging burden of liver disease in cystic fibrosis patients: A UK nationwide study.

Toledano MB, Mukherjee SK, Howell J, Westaby D, Khan SA, Bilton D, Simmonds NJ
MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.


OBJECTIVE: Cystic fibrosis associated liver disease (CFLD) is the third largest cause of mortality in CF. Our aim was to define the burden of CFLD in the UK using national registry data and identify risk factors for progressive disease. METHODS: A longitudinal population-based cohort study was conducted. Cases were defined as all patients with CFLD identified from the UK CF Registry, 2008-2013 (n = 3417). Denominator data were derived from the entire UK CF Registry. The burden of CFLD was characterised. Regression analysis was undertaken to identify risk factors for cirrhosis and progression. RESULTS: Prevalence of CFLD increased from 203.4 to 228.3 per 1000 patients during 2008-2013. Mortality in CF patients with CFLD was more than double those without; cirrhotic patients had higher all-cause mortality (HR 1.54, 95% CI 1.09 to 2.18, p = 0.015). Median recorded age of cirrhosis diagnosis was 19 (range 5-53) years. Male sex, Pseudomonas airway infection and CF related diabetes were independent risk factors for cirrhosis. Ursodeoxycholic acid use was associated with prolonged survival in patients without cirrhosis. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights an important changing disease burden of CFLD. The prevalence is slowly increasing and, importantly, the disease is not just being diagnosed in childhood. Although the role of ursodeoxycholic acid remains controversial, this study identified a positive association with survival.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: PloS One
  • Published: 04/04/2019
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue: 4
  • Pagination: e0212779