Obesity is one of the most important clinical associations with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
Dr Helena Cortez-Pinto and colleagues from Portugal assessed the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis in morbidly obese patients.
The research team evaluated the risk factors to more aggressive liver disease in this population.
Review of available studies on prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis in severely obese patients submitted to bariatric surgery.
The team included in the analysis 12 observational and transversal studies, with consecutive recruitment.
Prospective evaluation of data was also assessed, and in all 1620 patients with severe obesity were assessed.
|37% presented histological criteria for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis|
|Journal of Hepatology|
Prevalence of steatosis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis was 91% and 37%, respectively, with unexpected cirrhosis in 2%.
The team found that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis was not related with age or body mass index.
However, the researchers noted an association between male sex and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and hepatic fibrosis.
Diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance were the conditions most frequently associated with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
The team observed that hypertension was most frequently associated with advanced hepatic fibrosis.
Dr Cortez-Pinto's team commented, “There is a very high prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in asymptomatic morbidly obese patients.
“More than a third presented histological criteria for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.”
“This review underscores the large variations in prevalence of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis between studies, calling for the need for a better agreement in the use of the histological criteria.”