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The Great Chinese Famine Exposure in Early Life and the Risk of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Adult Women

Xiaoya Zheng, Wei Ren, Lilin Gong, Jian Long, Rong Luo, Yonghong Wang


Introduction and aim. Previous studies found famine exposure was associated with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS). In the study, we investigated the relationship between Chinese famine exposure and the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in adult women. Materials and methods. Data were obtained from subjects via routine physical examinations in the Public Health Center of our hospital between 2011 and 2014. Women were categorized into the following three groups: control, prenatally exposed, and postnatally exposed. Hepatic steatosis was diagnosed according to the guidelines established for the diagnosis and treatment of NAFLD. Results. The prevalence rates of NAFLD among non-exposed, prenatally, and postnatally exposed women were 17.3, 23.0, and 22.9%, respectively. Pre-exposed and postnatally exposed women had higher risks of NAFLD, exhibiting ORs (95% CI) of 1.33 (1.04-1.70) and 1.26 (1.03-1.55), respectively. Prenatally, but not postnatally, exposed women had significantly higher risks of having abnormal alanine aminotransferase (ALT), with ORs of 1.30 (1.05-1.61). Conclusions. The results indicate a significant association between famine exposure in early life and the risk of NAFLD in adult women. Prenatally exposed women displayed higher risks of NAFLD and mild, moderate and severe steatosis.

Key words. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease., Chinese., Metabolic syndrome., Maternal/Fetal., Malnutrition.

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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