Published online Apr 7, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i13.3663
Peer-review started: November 14, 2015
First decision: December 11, 2015
Revised: December 19, 2015
Accepted: January 11, 2016
Article in press: January 11, 2016
Published online: April 7, 2016
AIM: To investigate the prevalence of and risk factors for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in a Chinese population.
METHODS: A total of 1948 adults from China was followed for 8 years. A cross-sectional study was performed to investigate the prevalence of NAFLD at baseline, and then the participants were followed for 8 years to investigate risk factors for the development of NAFLD.
RESULTS: A total of 1948 participants were enrolled at baseline, of whom 691 were diagnosed with NAFLD. During the 8-year follow-up, 337 baseline NAFLD-free participants developed NAFLD. They had a greater increase in body mass index (BMI), serum uric acid, fasting plasma glucose, very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and a considerable decrease in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. 123 participants who had NAFLD at baseline lost NAFLD during the 8-year follow-up period. They had a greater decrease in BMI, fasting plasma glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase.
CONCLUSION: NAFLD is prevalent in Chinese population with a rapidly increasing tendency. It can be reversed when patients lose their weight, control their hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia, and reduce the liver enzyme levels.
Core tip: This study followed a large sample (n = 1928) for a long term (time = 8 years) to observe the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease due to the lifestyle and nutrition changes in a Chinese population.