, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 1132-1140
Date: 10 Nov 2012

Anthropometric and Clinical Factors Associated with Mortality in Subjects with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome and may be associated with increased mortality. Our aim was to determine whether anthropometric measures are independently associated with mortality in NAFLD.


The third National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (1988–1994) data was used. Extensive radiologic, serologic and clinical data were available. NAFLD was defined as moderate-to-severe hepatic steatosis on the hepatic ultrasound in the absence of any cause of chronic liver disease (e.g. hepatitis C virus RNA negative, hepatitis B-surface antigen negative, normal transferrin saturation and alcohol consumption <20 gram/day). Anthropometric measures [body mass index (kg/m2), waist, hip, arm, and thigh circumferences (cm), waist-to-hip ratio, percentage of body fat, and sum of skinfolds (mm)], laboratory measures and clinico-demographic data were analyzed. Statistical analyses were conducted with SUDAAN 10.0.


A total of 10,565 adult participants were included [2,510 (weighted 21 %) with NAFLD and 8,055 non-NAFLD controls]. In multivariate analysis, NAFLD was independently associated with being Mexican-American (including Hispanic or other ethnicity), larger waist circumference (cm), type-2 diabetes, insulin resistance and hypertension. After about 14 years (median) of follow up, liver-specific mortality was independently associated with NAFLD and being White.


Components of metabolic syndrome, and Mexican-American ethnicity are independently associated with NAFLD. Furthermore, NAFLD is an independent predictors of liver-specific mortality in men and Whites.