Aims: To estimate the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Type 2 diabetic patients with and without non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and to assess whether NAFLD is independently related to prevalent CVD.
Methods: We studied 400 Type 2 diabetic patients with NAFLD and 400 diabetic patients without NAFLD who were matched for age and sex. Main outcome measures were prevalent CVD (as ascertained by medical history, physical examination, electrocardiogram and echo-Doppler scanning of carotid and lower limb arteries), NAFLD (by ultrasonography) and presence of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) as defined by the World Health Organization or Adult Treatment Panel III criteria.
Results: The prevalences of coronary (23.0 vs. 15.5%), cerebrovascular (17.2 vs. 10.2%) and peripheral (12.8 vs. 7.0%) vascular disease were significantly increased in those with NAFLD as compared with those without NAFLD (P < 0.001), with no differences between sexes. The MetS (by any criteria) and all its individual components were more frequent in NAFLD patients (P < 0.001). In logistic regression analysis, male sex, age, smoking history and MetS were independently related to prevalent CVD, whereas NAFLD was not.
Conclusions: The prevalence of CVD is increased in patients with Type 2 diabetes and NAFLD in association with an increased prevalence of MetS as compared with diabetic patients without NAFLD. Follow-up studies are necessary to determine whether this higher prevalence of CVD among diabetic patients with NAFLD affects long-term mortality.