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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2014 Jan;22(1):292-9. doi: 10.1002/oby.20426. Epub 2013 Jun 11.

Racial differences in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in the U.S. population.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To characterize the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by race in a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population and to investigate potential explanatory factors for racial disparities.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

Cross-sectional study of 4,037 non-Hispanic white, 2,746 non-Hispanic black, and 2,892 Mexican-American adults in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. NAFLD was defined using ultrasound and with elevated aminotransferases.

RESULTS:

Age-adjusted prevalence of NAFLD was highest in Mexican-Americans (21.2%), followed by non-Hispanic whites (12.5%), and was lowest in non-Hispanic blacks (11.6%). Even after adjustment for demographic, lifestyle, adiposity, and metabolic factors, compared to non-Hispanic whites, Mexican-Americans were more likely to have NAFLD (OR: 1.67, 95% CI: 1.26, 2.22). Non-Hispanic blacks were significantly less likely to have NAFLD with elevated aminotransferases (OR: 0.51, 95% CI: 0.27, 0.97). Racial differences were attenuated among those with normal BMI and among "never drinkers."

CONCLUSION:

In this representative sample of the U.S. population, we found significant racial differences in the prevalence of ultrasound-defined NAFLD (with and without elevated liver enzymes). The racial differences were not fully explained by lifestyle, adiposity, and metabolic factors. More works is needed to identify potential contributors.

PMID:
23512725
PMCID:
PMC3690150
DOI:
10.1002/oby.20426
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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