Background and aims: To determine the prevalence of moderate-to-severe hepatic steatosis (HS) and associated risk factors in members of the World Trade Center (WTC) General Responder Cohort (GRC) who qualify for low-dose non-contrast computed tomography for lung cancer screening and compare them to non-WTC participants in the same screening program. Methods: All participants gave written informed consent before participating in this IRB-approved study. Clinical variables and laboratory values were recorded. Hepatic attenuation measurement (Hounsfield unit; HU) was measured on low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) and a threshold attenuation value <40HU indicated moderate-to-severe HS. Bivariate and multivariable linear and logistic regression analyses were performed. Propensity scores (PS) were calculated and inverse probability weighting (IPW) was used to adjust for potential confounders when comparing the WTC with non-WTC participants. Results: The prevalence of moderate-to-severe HS was 16.2% among 154 WTC participants compared to 5.3% among 170 non-WTC participants. In WTC members, moderate-to-severe HS was associated with higher BMI, higher laboratory liver function tests, and former smoking status. Using PS analysis and IPW to account for potential confounders, the odds ratio for moderate-to-severe HS was 3.4-fold higher (95% confidence interval: 1.7–6.7) in the WTC participants compared with non-WTC participants. Moderate-to-severe HS was also associated with higher BMI and former smoker status. Conclusion: Prevalence of moderate-to-severe HS was >3-fold higher in the WTC-GRC group than in other participants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Airborne particulate matter
  • CT screening
  • Liver attenuation
  • Liver disease


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