A family history of type 2 diabetes as a predictor of fatty liver disease in diabetes-free individuals with excessive body weight

Giovanni De Pergola, Fabio Castellana, Roberta Zupo, Sara De Nucci, Francesco Panza, Marco Castellana, Luisa Lampignano, Martina Di Chito, Vincenzo Triggiani, Rodolfo Sardone, Gianluigi Giannelli

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Comprehensive screening for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) may help prompt clinical management of fatty liver disease. A family history, especially of diabetes, has been little studied as a predictor for NAFLD. We characterized the cross-sectional relationship between a family history of type 2 diabetes (FHT2D) and NAFLD probability in 1185 diabetes-free Apulian (Southern-Italy) subjects aged > 20 years with overweight or obesity not receiving any drug or supplementation. Clinical data and routine biochemistry were analysed. NAFLD probability was defined using the fatty liver index (FLI). A first-degree FHT2D was assessed by interviewing subjects and assigning a score of 0, 1, or 2 if none, only one, or both parents were affected by type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Our study population featured most females (70.9%, N = 840), and 48.4% (N = 574) of the sample had first-degree FHT2D. After dividing the sample by a FHT2D, we found a higher BMI, Waist Circumference (WC), and diastolic blood pressure shared by FHT2D subjects; they also showed altered key markers of glucose homeostasis, higher triglyceride levels, and worse liver function. FLI scores were significantly lower in subjects without a first-degree FHT2D. After running logistic regression models, a FHT2D was significantly associated with the NAFLD probability, even adjusting for major confounders and stratifying by age (under and over 40 years of age). A FHT2D led to an almost twofold higher probability of NAFLD, regardless of confounding factors (OR 2.17, 95% CI 1.63 to 2.89). A first-degree FHT2D acts as an independent determinant of NAFLD in excess weight phenotypes, regardless of the age group (younger or older than 40 years). A NAFLD risk assessment within multidimensional screening might be useful in excess weight subjects reporting FHT2D even in the absence of diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24084
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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