Background and aims: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an emerging problem in the Asia-Pacific region. However, its prevalence and risk factors in Asian (especially South Asian) communities is poorly studied. In this study, the aim was to determine the community prevalence and risk factors for NAFLD among adults in an urban Sri Lankan population.
Methods: The study population consisted of 35-64-year-old adults, selected by stratified random sampling. NAFLD was diagnosed on established ultrasound criteria for fatty liver, safe alcohol consumption (< 14 units/week for men, < 7 units/week for females) and absence of hepatitis B and C markers. Blood pressure (BP) and anthropometric measurements were made, and fasting glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, serum lipids, fasting serum insulin and serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were determined.
Results: Of the 2985 study participants, 974 (32.6%) had NAFLD (605 [62.1%] women, mean age 52.8 years [standard deviation, 7.3]). On multivariate analysis, obesity, acanthosis nigricans, insulin resistance, elevated diastolic BP, fasting plasma glucose, plasma triglycerides, and ALT twice the upper limit of the reference range or more were independently associated with NAFLD.
Conclusion: The prevalence of NAFLD among adults in this urban Sri Lankan community is high and is strongly associated with constituent features of the metabolic syndrome.