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Case–control study evaluating relationship of blood pressure and anthropometric parameters with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Wilson S Joseph, Nirmal George, Abhaya Prasannarajan, Abhilash Kannan.

Background: The prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has increased over the last decade. India is one of the countries with highest prevalenceof NAFLD. High prevalence of lifestyle disorders among Keralites and their association with NAFLD necessitates studies on the subject.

Aims and Objective: Owing to the scarcity of studies evaluating the association of NAFLD with anthropometric and clinical parameters in Kerala, the present study was conducted.

Materials and Methods: Our case–control study enrolled 81 cases (with NAFLD) and 79 controls (without NAFLD) who were undergoing voluntary health checkup over a period of 2 years. Institutional Ethics Committee approved the study and written informed consent was obtained from all the study participants. Sociodemographic, anthropometric parameters and blood pressure (BP) were recorded and categorized based on gender, body mass index (BMI), and BP (JNC-8). Data were analyzed using free software R™. Independent sample t-test, Mann–Whitney U-test, and Chi-square test were used for statistical analysis and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: 15% and 11% of the study participants were having normal BMI and BP, respectively. Cases were significantly taller (P = 0.003), were having higher BMI (P = 0.04), weight (P < 0.001), waist circumference (WC) (P = 0.02), and systolic BP (SBP) (P = 0.02) compared to controls.Significant association was observed between NAFLD and stage 2 hypertension (P = 0.04). Our study did not demonstrate any association between NAFLD and BMI (P = 0.2) and between NAFLD and WC (P = 0.7).

Conclusion: High prevalence of weight-related and BP disorders were seen in participants undergoing voluntary health checkup. NAFLD was associated with a significantly higher weight, BMI, height, SBP, and WC. Significantly higher odds of NAFLD were seen in participants with Stage 2 hypertension.

Key words: Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; Stage 2 Hypertension; Weight-Related Disorders; Lifestyle Disorders; Pre-hypertension

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