Metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease may harm pregnancy

22 Nov 2021
Metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease may harm pregnancy

Metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) contributes to an increased risk of subsequent unfavourable pregnancy outcomes, a study reports.

The study examined the impact of MAFLD on pregnancy in a cohort of 1,744 women, in line with the proposal that MAFLD, rather than nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), better described liver disease associated with metabolic dysfunction (MD).

Of the women, 1,523 had no NAFLD, 43 had hepatic steatosis but without metabolic dysfunction (non-MD NAFLD), and 178 had MAFLD. All of them underwent evaluation for hepatic steatosis by liver ultrasonography and had their blood samples collected for biochemical measurements during the first trimester of pregnancy.

The primary outcome of subsequent development of adverse pregnancy outcomes, including gestational diabetes mellitus, pregnancy-associated hypertension, preterm birth, and foetal growth abnormalities, was more likely among women in the MAFLD group than among those in the non-MD NAFLD group (adjusted odds ratio, 4.03, 95 percent CI, 1.68–9.67). There was no significant difference noted between the no NAFLD and non-MD NAFLD groups.

Among women with no NAFLD, on the other hand, the presence of MD conferred a heightened risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Nevertheless, the risk was still higher among women with MAFLD than those who had no NAFLD with or without MD.

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