Prevalence of suspected nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in Hispanic/Latino individuals differs by heritage

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Mar;13(3):569-76. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2014.08.037. Epub 2014 Sep 15.


Background & aims: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) was shown to disproportionally affect Hispanic persons. We examined the prevalence of suspected NAFLD in Hispanic/Latino persons with diverse backgrounds.

Methods: We studied the prevalence of suspected NAFLD among 12,133 persons included in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. We collected data on levels of aminotransferase, metabolic syndrome (defined by National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines), demographics, and health behaviors. Suspected NAFLD was defined on the basis of increased level of aminotransferase in the absence of serologic evidence for common causes of liver disease or excessive alcohol consumption. In multivariate analyses, data were adjusted for metabolic syndrome, age, acculturation, diet, physical activity, sleep, and levels of education and income.

Results: In multivariate analysis, compared with persons of Mexican heritage, persons of Cuban (odds ratio [OR], 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.57-0.85), Puerto Rican (OR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.52-0.87), and Dominican backgrounds (OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.54-0.93) had lower rates of suspected NAFLD. Persons of Central American and South American heritage had a similar prevalence of suspected NAFLD compared with persons of Mexican heritage. NAFLD was less common in women than in men (OR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.40-0.60). Suspected NAFLD associated with metabolic syndrome and all 5 of its components.

Conclusions: On the basis of an analysis of a large database of health in Latino populations, we found the prevalence of suspected NAFLD among Hispanic/Latino individuals to vary by region of heritage.

Keywords: HCHS/SOL; Hispanic Americans; Life Style; Obesity; Steatohepatitis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult