Background: There is increasing concern regarding cardiovascular risk in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This study was conducted to evaluate whether hepatic steatosis with or without fibrosis is associated with the progression of carotid atherosclerosis in patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods: From a longitudinal cohort, we enrolled 1120 patients with type 2 diabetes who underwent repeated carotid artery ultrasonography every 1-2 years. Ultrasonographic findings at baseline and after 6-8 years were compared. Presence of hepatic steatosis was mainly assessed by abdominal ultrasonography; patients with hepatic steatosis were further evaluated for hepatic fibrosis according to fibrosis-4 index. We investigated the association between liver status and atherosclerosis progression. Results: Of 1120 patients, 636 (56.8%) were classified as having hepatic steatosis at baseline. After 6-8 years, 431 (38.5%) showed atherosclerosis progression. Hepatic steatosis was significantly associated with atherosclerosis progression (adjusted odds ratio[AOR]: 1.370, 95% CI 1.025-1.832; p < 0.05). Among patients with hepatic steatosis, only individuals with fibrosis showed significant association with atherosclerosis progression (AOR: 1.615, 95% CI 1.005-2.598; p < 0.05). The association between hepatic fibrosis and atherosclerosis progression was significant in all metabolic subgroups regardless of age, body mass index, presence of metabolic syndrome, or insulin sensitivity (all p < 0.05). Furthermore, subjects with hepatic steatosis & fibrosis and ≥ 4 components of metabolic syndrome criteria showed markedly increased risk of atherosclerosis progression (AOR: 2.430, 95% CI 1.087-5.458; p < 0.05). Conclusions: Hepatic steatosis with fibrosis is independently associated with the progression of carotid atherosclerosis in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine