Late diagnosis of chronic liver disease in a community cohort (UK biobank): determinants and impact on subsequent survival

H. Innes*, Joanne Morling, E. A. Aspinall, D. J. Goldberg, S. J. Hutchinson, I. N. Guha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Chronic liver disease (CLD) is frequently diagnosed at a late stage when prognosis is poor. We aimed to determine the patient factors associated with a late CLD diagnosis and its subsequent impact on survival to support early diagnosis initiatives. Methods: We identified participants of UK biobank (UKB) study who developed first-time advanced CLD within 5 years. We identified the factors associated with late diagnosis via logistic regression and used survival analysis to measure the association between late CLD diagnosis and mortality risk. Results: A total of 725 UKB participants developed first-time advanced CLD event within 5 years. In total, 83% of cases were diagnosed late. Late diagnosis was associated with aetiology; the odds of late diagnosis were 12 times higher for an individual with alcohol-related liver disease (ArLD) vs viral hepatitis (aOR:12.01; P < 0.001). Cumulative mortality 5 years after incident advanced CLD was 43.4% (95% CI:39.6–47.0). Late diagnosis was associated with a higher risk of postadvanced CLD mortality for patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (aHR:2.18; 95% CI:0.86–5.51; P = 0.10), but not for other aetiologies. Conclusions: Late CLD diagnosis varies according to aetiology and is highest for patients with ArLD and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The association between late diagnosis and postadvanced CLD mortality may also vary by aetiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-171
Number of pages7
JournalPublic Health
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge support from Glasgow Caledonian University core research funding; Health Protection Scotland ; NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre ; and UK Medical Research Council (JRM receives salary support from an MRC Clinician Scientist Award MR/P008348/1 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Royal Society for Public Health


  • Alcohol-related liver disease
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Cirrhosis
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Late diagnosis
  • Prognosis
  • Survival


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