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Prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and its metabolic risk factors in women of different ages and body mass index

Wang, Zhongli MD, PhD1; Xu, Ming MD1; Hu, Zhengguo MD1; Shrestha, Umid Kumar MD, PhD2

doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000352
Original Articles
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Objective This study aims to investigate the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), to determine the metabolic risk factors of this disease, and to predict nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with liver fibrosis in women of different ages and body mass index (BMI).

Methods In 2010-2011, a cross-sectional survey was conducted among 9,360 women at the health checkup center of Zhongnan Hospital (Wuhan, China). The probability of NASH with liver fibrosis was predicted using BAAT (BMI, age, alanine aminotransferase, and triglycerides) score.

Results The prevalence of NAFLD increased from 5.3% to 18.8% in women younger than 45 years versus women aged 45 to 55 years and rose to 27.8% in women older than 55 years. In obese women, the prevalence of NAFLD was 48.4%. Women older than 45 years and obese women with NAFLD had more unfavorable metabolic risk factors. Multiple regression analyses showed that increased BMI and low aspartate aminotransferase–to–alanine aminotransferase ratio were closely related to NAFLD in women of different ages, whereas increasing BMI, BAAT score, age, high triglycerides, alanine aminotransferase, and low aspartate aminotransferase–to–alanine aminotransferase ratio were all closely related to NAFLD in obese women. The prevalence of NASH with a BAAT index of 3 or higher was 13.2% and 14.9% in women older than 55 years and obese women with NAFLD, respectively.

Conclusions Obese and postmenopausal women have a high prevalence of NAFLD and severe metabolic disorders. The prevalence of NASH seems to be considerably higher in obese and postmenopausal women with NAFLD.

From the 1Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan, China; and 2Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Kaski Sewa Hospital and Research Center, Pokhara, Nepal.

Received April 9, 2014; revised and accepted August 27, 2014.

Funding/support: This study was supported by the Innovation Seed Fund (grant 523-266078) of the Wuhan University School of Medicine.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Zhongli Wang, MD, PhD, Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Donghu Rd 169, Wuhan 430071, China. E-mail: wzl200411@163.com;1095854403@qq.com

© 2015 by The North American Menopause Society.