Aim: to assess the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in patients with idiopathic venous thromboembolism (VTE).
Methods: in a case-control study, after excluding subjects with well-consolidated risk factors for VTE, idiopathic VTE was documented in 138 consecutive patients who were referred to our department. Two hundred and seventy-six healthy sex/age/body-mass-index-matched subjects, without any clinical/instrumental evidence of VTE, served as controls. All underwent a clinical/laboratory/ultrasound assessment for the presence of metabolic syndrome and NAFLD.
Results: NAFLD was detected in 112/138 cases (81%) and in 84/276 controls (30%) [risk ratio: 2.7, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.2-3.2, P < 0.0001]. Metabolic syndrome and smoking habit were more prevalent in patients with idiopathic VTE. The high prevalence of NAFLD in VTE was also confirmed after adjustment for inherited thrombophilia. NAFLD was clearly predicted by VTE (odds ratio: 1.8, 95% CI: 1.2-2.7, P < 0.0001).
Conclusion: NAFLD was independently associated with idiopathic VTE.