Published online May 7, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i17.4987
Revised: December 21, 2013
Accepted: February 17, 2014
Published online: May 7, 2014
AIM: To compare prevalence rates of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) between Hispanics of Mexican origin and Hispanics of Dominican and Puerto Rican origin.
METHODS: We evaluated prevalence rates of NAFLD between the two largest sub-populations of Hispanics in the United States; Hispanics of Mexican origin and Hispanics of Caribbean origin (Dominican and Puerto Rican), in the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA) cohort. MESA is a large, population based, multi-center cohort study comprised of 6814 healthy Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian men and women aged 45-84. We utilized the baseline serum, anthropometric and radiographic measurements obtained between 2000 and 2002. NAFLD was measured via computed tomography scan and was defined as liver/spleen attenuation ratio < 1.
RESULTS: There were 788 Hispanic participants included in the study after exclusions. The prevalence of NAFLD was 29% (n = 225). Hispanics of Mexican origin had a significantly higher prevalence of NAFLD (33%), compared to Hispanics of Dominican origin (16%), (P < 0.01) and Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin (18%), (P < 0.01). After controlling for age, sex, BMI, waist circumference, hypertension, serum HDL, triglyceride and CRP level and insulin resistance, Hispanics of Mexican origin remained significantly more likely to have NAFLD than those of Dominican and Puerto Rican origin.
CONCLUSION: United States Hispanics of Mexican origin have a significantly higher prevalence of NAFLD when compared to United States Hispanics of Dominican or Puerto Rican origin after controlling for known risk factors. Care should be taken when performing risk assessment in Hispanic populations not to make assumptions of homogeneity.
Core tip: Hispanics have a significantly higher prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and evidence of more advanced disease when compared to other ethnic groups. As a consequence it has been proposed that clinicians perform biopsies on Hispanics diagnosed with NAFLD given the increased of fibrosis development. Most of the studies examining Hispanics with NAFLD evaluated those of Mexican descent. It is unknown if this increased propensity to develop NAFLD is uniform among all people classified as Hispanics or if certain subpopulations are at higher risk. This study aims to compare the prevalence rates of NAFLD between US Hispanic subgroups.