Background: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome. The aim of this study was to evaluate a 6-month home-based lifestyle modification intervention delivered in collaboration with physicians, hygienists, registered dietitians, and nurses.
Methods: Outpatients with NAFLD diagnosed by abdominal ultrasonography were eligible for this study. Abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan evaluated liver fat deposition by the liver-spleen ratio (L/S ratio) and visceral fat accumulation as the visceral fat area (VFA; cm(2)). During the 6-month home-based lifestyle modification intervention, each patient was examined by physicians, nurses, hygienists, and registered dietitians, who provided individualized advice to the patients. Patients recorded their daily weight for self-control of weight with recommended diet and exercise regimens.
Results: Sixty-seven NAFLD patients were enrolled in this study and 22 patients (32.8%) completed the 6-month intervention. Nineteen of the 22 patients achieved significant improvements in body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, VFA, L/S ratio, and systolic blood pressure, with improved laboratory data. Overall, 39 patients withdrew from the intervention. The mean age of the patients who withdrew was 50.0 +/- 11.0 years, which was significantly younger than that of the patients who were followed up (60.1 +/- 10.1 years; P < 0.01).
Conclusions: The reduction in body weight achieved by NAFLD patients during the 6-month intervention was associated with improved fat deposition and liver function. This intervention offers a practical approach for treating a large number of NAFLD patients with lifestyle modification therapy.