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NAFLD ups risk of coronary artery calcification

08 Feb 2020

The risk of coronary artery calcification (CAC) is elevated among nonobese men with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a recent study has found.

The retrospective cross-sectional study included 7,529 participants (median age, 54 years; 59.5 percent male) who had been evaluated for fatty liver status. The outcome of interest was CAC and whether it occurred differentially according to sex and obesity status.

The median body mass index in the study cohort was 24.1 kg/m2. NAFLD occurred significantly more frequently among participants who were obese, as did abdominal obesity and CAC. Hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidaemia, and current smoking and drinking were all also more prevalent among obese participants.

Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified NAFLD as a significant risk factor for the development of CAC in the overall cohort (odds ratio [OR], 1.23, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.06–1.44; p=0.007). Being male (OR, 3.24, 95 percent CI, 2.65–3.97; p<0.001) and obese (OR, 1.27, 95 percent CI, 1.08–1.49; p=0.004) had the same effect.

Disaggregating according to obesity status revealed a significant difference in the influence of NAFLD, which only significantly increased the risk of CAC among nonobese participants (OR, 1.25, 95 percent CI, 1.02–1.54; p=0.034) but not among their obese counterparts (OR, 1.20, 95 percent CI, 0.95–1.52; p=0.122). Being male remained a significant risk factor in both subgroups.

Other pertinent risk factors were increasing age, hypertension, diabetes, current smoking and aspartate aminotransferase levels.

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Elvira Manzano, 3 days ago
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