Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), as the most common liver disease in the world, can range from simple steatosis to steatohepatitis. We evaluated the association between meat consumption and risk of NAFLD in the Golestan Cohort Study (GCS).
The GCS enrolled 50,045 participants, aged 40–75 years in Iran. Dietary information was collected using a 116-item semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire at baseline (2004–2008). A random sample of 1,612 cohort members participated in a liver-focused study in 2011. NAFLD was ascertained through ultrasound. Total red meat consumption and total white meat consumption were categorized into quartiles based on the GCS population, with the first quartile as the referent group. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
The median intake of total red meat was 17 and total white meat was 53 g/d. During follow-up, 505 individuals (37.7%) were diagnosed with NAFLD, and 124 of them (9.2%) had elevated alanine transaminase. High total red meat consumption (ORQ4 vs Q1 = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.06–2.38, P trend = 0.03) and organ meat consumption (ORQ4 vs Q1 = 1.70, 95% CI = 1.19–2.44, P trend = 0.003) were associated with NAFLD. Total white meat, chicken, or fish consumption did not show significant associations with NAFLD.
In this population with low consumption of red meat, individuals in the highest group of red meat intake were at increased odds of NAFLD. Furthermore, this is the first study to show an association between organ meat consumption and NAFLD (see Visual Abstract, https://links.lww.com/AJG/B944).