Published online Dec 27, 2018. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v10.i12.924
Peer-review started: June 11, 2018
First decision: July 11, 2018
Revised: August 3, 2018
Accepted: August 21, 2018
Article in press: August 21, 2018
Published online: December 27, 2018
To assess the association between liver fat content (LFC) and weight status in young adults using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) technique.
Seventy-eight healthy young adults, between 19-30 years of age participated in this study. This group was then separated into a control of 39 subjects and an overweight/obese group (OW/OB group) consisting of 39 subjects. Blood biochemical quantity and 1H MRS was performed for LFC assessment.
LFC was found to be almost three times higher in OW/OB group when compared to the control group. A 48.7% incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in the OW/OB group was found. Blood biochemical measurements showed statistically higher low-density lipoproteins and triglyceride, lower high-density lipoproteins, and increased glycosylated hemoglobin and fasting glucose in the OW/OB group. Body mass index was a significant independent predictor for LFC after adjusting for age and sex (multiple linear regression; β = 0.459, P < 0.001).
Due to the prevalence of high LFC in the OW/OB group, it can be proposed that weight gain and obesity are sensitive indicators of high hepatic fat content.
Core tip: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common chronic liver diseases. The prevalence of NAFLD in young adults is a growing public health concern. Interestingly, the liver fat content (LFC) of an overweight/obese group was approximately three times higher than the control group. This result suggests that obesity can increase LFC and is a risk factor for higher NAFLD in overweight and obese young adults. This current study also demonstrated the importance of Body Mass Index as a tool for risk prevention and control of NAFLD and metabolic syndromes.