Objective Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a very frequent disease in whole world, it become a heavy medical burden in China. The aim of this study is to investigate the association between NAFLD and subclinical atherosclerosis using carotid intima media thickness (c-IMT) in check-up population in China.
Methods The study population consisted of 987 participants (372 women), aged between 18 and 70 years who undertake check up in our hospital. There were 486 subjects with NAFLD and 501 apparently healthy controls without NAFLD. The age, gender and body mass index were similar. Subclinical atherosclerosis was detected by c-IMT measurement through ultrasound.
Results Subjects with NAFLD had higher average and maximum CIMT (0.5 ± 0.12 and 0.58 ± 0.17mm, respectively, vs 0.39 ± 0.11 and 0.42 ± 0.12mm, respectively; p < 0.05), and had higher prevalence of atherosclerotic plaques (18.7% vs 5.9%, p < 0.05) than controls. The presence of NAFLD was observed to be the independent predictor of having high average CIMT (OR 4.2; 95% CI: 1.7–11.2) and high maximum CIMT (OR 4.7; 95% CI: 2.0–12.1) even after adjusting for obesity, blood pressure, glucose and lipid parameters.
Conclusions This study has shown a possible independent role of NAFLD in determining subclinical atherosclerosis.