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Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Children and Adolescents: Lifestyle Change - a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Melina Utz-Melere, Cristina Targa-Ferreira, Bernardo Lessa-Horta, Matias Epifanio, Marialena Mouzaki, Angelo A. Mattos


Introduction and aim. This manuscript seeks to analyze the impact of lifestyle changes on body mass index (BMI), aminotransferases and steatosis in children and adolescents with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Materials and methods. A review of PubMed, BIREME, Scopus, EMBASE, Medline and Web of Science databases 2015 was performed seeking studies addressing the impact of lifestyle interventions on children and/or adolescents with NAFLD. Inclusion were manuscripts written in Portuguese, English and Spanish, as well as age less than 18 years. Two reviewers performed the data extraction independently and differences were resolved by consensus. Outcome measures were BMI, serum aminotransferase levels and the presence of hepatic steatosis. Results. The literature search identified 71,012 articles. After excluding 46,397 duplicates and other clearly irrelevant studies, 89 publications were reviewed in detail. Another 55 studies were excluded at this stage. Subsequently, 18 were excluded due to lack of data and three new articles were found in the review of the references of previously identified manuscripts. Therefore, 19 studies that had evaluated 923 subjects (477 boys and 446 girls) aged 6-18 years were included in the review. In most studies, the intervention included aerobic exercise and diet. In nine studies, BMI improved significantly following the intervention. The vast majority of studies reported a benefit from the intervention on aminotransferase levels. Lifestyle changes also had a significant impact on steatosis, reducing the risk by 61%. Conclusions. Lifestyle changes lead to significant improvements in BMI, aminotransferase levels and hepatic steatosis in children and adolescents with NAFLD.

Key words. Pediatric., Hepatic steatosis., Physical activity., Nutritional intervention., Obesity.

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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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