Weight gain within the normal weight range predicts ultrasonographically detected fatty liver in healthy Korean men

Y. Chang, S. Ryu, E. Sung, H. Y. Woo, S. I. Cho, S. H. Yoo, H. Y. Ahn, N. K. Choi

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64 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: We performed a prospective study to determine whether weight gain predicts future ultrasonographically detected fatty liver (USFL) in a lean adult population. Methods: Among 15 347 Korean male workers, aged 30-59 years, who participated in a health check-up programme in 2002, a USFL-free cohort of 4246 nondiabetic men was followed until September 2007. Alcohol consumption was assessed by a questionnaire. Weight change for each subject was calculated as the difference between baseline and subsequent measurements. Biochemical tests for liver and metabolic function were done. The primary outcome was ultrasound-diagnosed fatty liver. A standard Cox proportional hazards model and time-dependent Cox model were performed. Results: During 16 829.7 person-years of follow-up, 622 participants developed USFL. After adjusting for age, the period from visit 1 to visit 2, BMI, HDL-C, triglyceride, uric acid, alanine aminotransferase, and HOMA-IR, the risk for USFL increased with increasing quartiles of weight change (p for trend <0.001). This association remained significant when weight change and covariates, except age and the period from visit 1 to visit 2, were modelled as time-dependent variables. Subjects in the fourth quartile (weight gain ≥2.3 kg) were at significantly elevated risk for USFL (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR), 1.26; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.58). These associations did not change, even in normal weight men with a baseline BMI between 18.5 and 22.9 kg/m2 (n=2186). Conclusion: Weight gain per se appears to increase the risk for developing USFL. Thus, avoiding weight gain, even among lean adult individuals, can be helpful in preventing this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1419-1425
Number of pages7
JournalGut
Volume58
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2009

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