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Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2018;18(5):513-521. doi: 10.2174/1871530318666180423101755.

Menopause Does Not Affect Fatty Liver Severity In Women: A Population Study in a Mediterranean Area.

Author information

1
Ambulatory of Clinical Nutrition, National Institute of Gastroenterology-Research Hospital, IRCCS "S. de Bellis", Castellana Grotte, Bari, Italy.
2
Laboratory of Nutritional Biochemistry, National Institute of Gastroenterology-Research Hospital, IRCCS "S. de Bellis", Castellana Grotte, Bari, Italy.
3
Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, National Institute of Gastroenterology-Research Hospital, IRCCS "S. de Bellis", Castellana Grotte, Bari, Italy.
4
Clinical Trial Unit, National Institute of Gastroenterology-Research Hospital, IRCCS "S. de Bellis", Castellana Grotte, Bari, Italy.
5
Unit of Radiology, Hospital San Giacomo, Monopoli, Bari, Italy.
6
Unit of Gastroenterology, National Institute of Gastroenterology- Research Hospital, IRCCS "S. de Bellis", Castellana Grotte, Bari, Italy.
7
Laboratory of Clinical Pathology, National Institute of Gastroenterology-Research Hospital, IRCCS "S. de Bellis", Castellana Grotte, Bari, Italy.
8
Scientific and Ethical Committee, University Hospital Policlinico, Bari, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:

Estrogens could protect the liver from fatty degeneration, but there is little information about whether menopause is associated with the severity of alcoholic (AFL) and non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL). Our aim was to evaluate the distribution of fatty liver detected by ultrasound in pre- and post-menopausal women and the factors associated with these conditions.

METHODS:

In this cross-sectional study, the years from menopause were investigated through selfreported information. The degree of fatty liver was assessed through a standardized ultrasound examination (scores 0 to 6, higher values reflecting a greater severity). Liver steatosis was classified as NAFL or AFL based on a daily alcohol intake > 20g/d.

RESULTS:

The study included 752 women in menopause and 535 in pre-menopause. The years from menopause were not associated with the severity of liver steatosis in NAFL (p for trend=0.74; Spearman correlation=0.04; 95%CI: -0.09 to 0.17), whereas all the indexes of adiposity and the number of metabolic syndrome factors were associated with a higher liver steatosis score. Taking AFL liver steatosis as the outcome, the years since menopause were not significantly associated with liver steatosis in AFL (p for trend=0.50; Spearman correlation=0.09; 95%CI: -0.17 to 0.34), whilst the association between anthropometric parameters and liver steatosis severity resulted stronger in postmenopausal compared to pre- menopausal women.

CONCLUSION:

the higher prevalence of fatty liver observed in post-menopausal women is probably not due to menopause per se, but to the adiposity (particularly abdominal) typical of this age and its consequences (such as metabolic syndrome).

KEYWORDS:

Fatty liver; epidemiology; mediterranean area; menopause; metabolic syndrome; ultrasound.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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