Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is related to excess body fat (BF) and other metabolic disabilities. Central accumulation of BF seems to play an important role. To our knowledge, there are no data on the predictive capacity of total and regional BF content by different anthropometric measures, in NAFLD patients, which may be important for clinical assessment and management of this disease.
PURPOSE: To compare the strength of relationship and the predictive capacity of different body circumferences and BMI for estimating total and regional BF content in NAFLD patients.
METHODS: Total and regional BF were measured through Double Energy X-ray Densitometry (DXA) in 13 NAFLD patients (11 males, 43 + 12 Yrs, and 2 females, 41 + 8 yrs), who were diagnosed using liver biopsy or ultrasound, after exclusion of other causes of liver disease. All subjects also underwent anthropometric evaluation. All measures were performed by the same observer.
RESULTS: The only analyzed anthropometric measures that had significant relationship with all the studied BF depots (Total BF; %Total BF; Trunk BF; %Trunk BF; Abdominal BF; %Abdominal BF) were hip circumference (r=0,921; r=0,66; r=0,893; r=0,685; r=07,62; 0,731; respectively, p<0,05) and BMI (r=0,763; r=0,393; r=0,817; r=0,519; r=0,855; 0,678; respectively, p<0,05). Hip circumference was the best predictor of Total BF; %Total BF; Trunk BF; %Trunk BF; %Abdominal BF, explaining 85%, 44%, 80%, 47% and 53% of the variation, respectively. Abdominal BF variation was best predicted by waist circumference (WC) measured according to WHO protocol (r=859, r2=0,739, p=0,001). When considering only WC, the NIH protocol and at the level of the umbilicus were the WC that better predicted all BF depots, except the Abdominal BF. Limbs circumferences showed no significant relationships with studied BF depots.
CONCLUSIONS: BMI seems to be a good indicator of BF in NAFLD patients, even for specific depots. Hip circumference was surprisingly the best studied predictor, raising the need for further investigation. The usefulness of waist circumferences as compared to other anthropometric measures needs to be confirmed in NAFLD patients.