• diabetes;
  • hyperlipidemia;
  • liver steatosis;
  • metabolic syndrome;
  • non-alcoholic fatty liver;
  • obesity;
  • steatohepatitis


Background and Aims: The association of liver steatosis with a number of common metabolic conditions has been suggested. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the clinical features of subjects with different severities of steatosis.

Methods: The present study was performed in 282 consecutive patients with ‘bright liver’ at ultrasonography and in 58 subjects without steatosis. They had no history of alcohol abuse and negative tests for the presence of hepatitis B and C virus. Patients underwent clinical examination, anthropometry, laboratory tests and routine liver ultrasonography. Steatosis was graded as absent, mild, moderate and severe.

Results: A progressive increase in the prevalence of obesity (P < 0.001), type 2 diabetes (P < 0.001), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevation (P < 0.001) and hypertriglyceridemia (P < 0.001), and a decrease of hypercholesterolemia (P < 0.05) was observed from the control group to the groups with mild, moderate and severe steatosis. More than half the subjects with liver steatosis had insulin resistance metabolic syndrome. Obesity, diabetes and hypertriglyceridemia were more common by 5.3-fold, 4.0-fold, and 6.7-fold, respectively, in subjects with severe steatosis, as compared to controls. Prevalence of obesity, diabetes and hyperlipidemia was significantly higher in subjects with fatty liver and ALT elevation.

Conclusion: Fatty liver can be considered as the hepatic consequence of common metabolic diseases.

© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd