, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 308-315
Date: 09 Aug 2012

The Relationship Between Pediatric Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Increased Risk of Atherosclerosis in Obese Children

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Abstract

To investigate the relationship between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular risk factors and increased risk of atherosclerosis in obese children. The study included 80 consecutive obese children who were stratified into group 1 [ultrasonographically diagnosed with NAFLD (n = 50)] and group 2 [not diagnosed with NAFLD (n = 30)]. The control group included 30 healthy children. The groups were compared in terms of clinical cardiovascular risk factors and carotid intimal medial thickness (CIMT) (as a marker of atherosclerosis) measured using B-mode ultrasound. Mean body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP), as well as the frequency of dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome (MetS), and insulin resistance (IR), were similar in groups 1 and 2. Mean BMI and triglyceride (TG) levels, and the frequency of IR and MetS, increased significantly as the grade of steatosis increased. Mean CIMT in group 1 was significantly greater than that in the control group (P < 0.01). There was a positive correlation between CIMT and age, BP, and BMI in groups 1 and 2. In addition, CIMT was correlated with TG, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, MetS, and IR only in group 1. Linear regression analysis between CIMT and age, BP, BMI, TG level, HDL cholesterol level, IR, MetS, and grade of steatosis yielded a significant difference only for grade of steatosis. Cardiovascular risk factors are more impressive and CIMT was significantly higher in group 1 than in group 2 and the control group, indicating that they are associated with greater risk of atherosclerosis and future adverse cardiovascular events.