Previous cross-sectional studies have shown an association between obesity and liver disorders, however, information on incidence rates from epidemiological studies is scarce.
In this study, researchers from Switzerland and the United States, explored the association between body mass index (BMI) and liver disorders.
The team conducted a follow-up study with a nested case-control analysis using the UK-based General Practice Research Database.
|Incidence rate was 3.83 per 1000 person-years in obese subjects.|
|Journal of Hepatology|
The study population encompassed normal weight (BMI <25 kg/m2), pre-obese (BMI 25 to 29.9 kg/m2), and obese (BMI 30 kg/m2) subjects aged 20-79 years.
The researchers matched study participants by age, sex, and general practice attended.
They identified 2718 cases of newly diagnosed liver disorder within the study population of 207,630 subjects.
Of these, 56% had known predisposing conditions.
The team found incidence rates to be 2.48 per 1000 person-years in normal weight subjects, 2.91 per 1000 person-years in pre-obese, and 3.83 per 1000 person-years in obese subjects.
In the nested case-control analysis, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for obese, as compared to normal weight subjects, was 1.2.
Furthermore, the OR for idiopathic cases (without known risk factors for liver disorders) was 1.3.
Dr Christoph Meier's team concluded, "The study indicates that obesity is associated with a modest increase in the incidence of newly diagnosed liver disorder".