Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and its associated risk factors in Brazilian postmenopausal women
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Objective To evaluate the prevalence and risk factors of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in postmenopausal women.Methods A cross-sectional study was carried involving 188 women (age >= 45 years and amenorrhea >= 12 months) attending the outpatient unit in south-eastern Brazil. Exclusion criteria were liver disease (hepatitis B and C, cholestatic disease, liver insufficiency), use of drugs that affect liver metabolism; alcoholics; AIDS or cancer history; and morbid obesity. NAFLD was diagnosed by abdominal ultrasound. Clinical, anthropometric (body mass index, waist circumference) and biochemical variables were measured.Results Of the 188 women, 73 (38.8%) had NAFLD. Blood pressure, waist circumference, body mass index, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose were significantly higher in NAFLD patients when compared with women without NAFLD (control group) (p < 0.05). HOMA-IR values indicated insulin resistance only in the NAFLD group (6.1 +/- 4.6 vs. 2.4 +/- 1.4 in control group, p < 0.05). Metabolic syndrome was detected in 93.1% of the women affected by NAFLD, and 46.1% of the control group (p < 0.05). In multivariate analysis, adjusted for age and weight, the variables considered at risk for the development of NAFLD, were: high waist circumference (odds ratio (OR) 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-1.13), insulin resistance (OR 3.81, 95% CI 2.01-7.13), and presence of metabolic syndrome (OR 8.68, 95% CI 3.3-24.1).Conclusion NAFLD showed a high prevalence among postmenopausal women. The presence of metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity and IR were indicators of risk for the development of NAFLD.