Background: Metabolic bone disorders frequently occur in patients with chronic liver disease; however, the association between liver fibrosis and bone mineral density in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is unclear. Methods This is a cross-sectional analysis of 231 asymptomatic subjects (160 women, 61.6 years old) from a university hospital setting, between February 2012 and December 2014. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured at the lumbar spine, femur neck, and total hip using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Liver fibrosis and steatosis were assessed using transient elastography. Results: Among a total of 231 individuals, 129 subjects (55.8%) had NAFLD. BMDs at lumbar spine, femur neck, and total hip were significantly lower in patients having NAFLD with significant fibrosis, compared with patients having NAFLD without significant fibrosis (Ps<0.005). In patients with NAFLD, significant liver fibrosis revealed marked negative correlations with BMD at the lumber spine (r = –0.19, P = 0.032), femur neck (r = –0.19, P = 0.034), and total hip (r = –0.21, P = 0.016). A multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that significant liver fibrosis was independently correlated with low BMD at the femur neck (β = –0.18, P = 0.039) and total hip (β = –0.21, P = 0.005) after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, fasting plasma glucose, alanine aminotransferase, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and liver steatosis among patients with NAFLD. Using multivariable logistic regression, significant liver fibrosis was independently associated with overall osteopenia and osteoporosis in subjects having NAFLD (OR = 4.10, 95% CI = 1.02–16.45). Conclusion: The presence of significant liver fibrosis assessed via TE was independently associated with low BMD in NAFLD subjects.
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© 2017 Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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