Send to

Choose Destination
J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Jan;29(1):42-51. doi: 10.1111/jgh.12428.

Prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in mainland of China: a meta-analysis of published studies.

Author information

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan Province, China.



Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming an increasingly important health issue. However, there are no data on the change in prevalence of NAFLD within a population over time, especially in the mainland of China. The goal of this study was to estimate the pooled prevalence of NAFLD in the mainland of China.


Systematic literature searches were conducted in PubMed, Web of Knowledge, Chinese Web of Knowledge, Wangfang, Weipu, and SinoMed databases, as well as relevant articles published from 1997 to 2013, reporting prevalence estimates of NAFLD in the mainland of China. Summary estimates of prevalence were calculated with a random effects model. The effects of research methodology on the prevalence estimates were assessed using a meta-regression model.


Forty-eight studies were identified with of a total of 356 367 subjects. The overall pooled prevalence of NAFLD was 20.09% (17.95-22.31%). Subgroup analyses showed the following results: male: 24.81% (21.88-27.87%), female: 13.16% (11.33-15.11%), for 18-30: 9.22% (6.93-11.81%), for 40: 16.77% (13.22-20.66%), for 50: 23.50% (19.57-27.66%), for 60: 26.89% (21.11-33.09%), for urban: 21.83% (18.00-25.92%), for rural: 20.43% (8.01-36.74%); study years in 2000-2006: 18.22% (14.32-22.48%), 20.00% (16.84-23.36%) for 2007-2009, and 18.93% (15.41-22.72%) for 2010-2013.


The prevalence of NAFLD is lower than the estimates from developed countries. But it still reaches the epidemic proportions, and its prevalence is increasing. Meanwhile, a nationwide prevalence investigation should be conducted to confirm the estimates and determine more accurate rates for specific populations.


China; meta-analysis; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; prevalence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center