Purpose of review
We discuss the findings of the most recent metanalyses on the association between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
(NAFLD), cardiometabolic disease and mortality
Recent metanalyses have shown that NAFLD is associated with incident type 2 diabetes mellitus
(T2DM) and incident cardiovascular disease
(CVD). Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, which can be diagnosed by liver biopsy only in tertiary care centers, is often associated with liver fibrosis, which has been shown by metanalyses to increase both cardiovascular and liver-related mortality
. Hyperlipidemia, lipotoxicity and impaired insulin secretion are among the possible mechanisms underlying the association of NAFLD with T2DM and CVD. Metanalyses of the association between NAFLD and mortality
in the general population, where risk stratification cannot be performed on the basis of liver biopsy, have given contradictory results.
To establish conclusively whether NAFLD adds to known prognostic factors of death in the general population will require a shared operational definition of NAFLD, purposefully designed cohort studies, and the use of clinically relevant measures of effect size.