Objectives There are higher prevalence of fatty liver in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. This study aims to investigate the relationship between nocturnal chronic intermittent hypoxia and fatty liver in hypertensive patients.
Methods 168 patients with hypertension who underwent both polysomnography and liver ultrasonography were enrolled from July 2004 to March 2006. The main clinical features as well as apnea-hyponea index (AHI) and the lowest oxygen saturation (LSaO2), were compared between patients with and without fatty liver, and the potential risk factors of fatty liver were discussed.
Results 101 out of 168 cases were diagnosed as fatty liver, in which the body mass index, fasting blood glucose, triglyceride, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate amino-transferase (AST), Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) and mean AHI were significantly higher, while the LSaO2 (79.37 ± 9.19 vs. 83.12 ± 6.40, P < 0.05) was much lower compared with patients without fatty liver. The multivariate logistic regression indicated that the fasting blood glucose [OR (95%CI): 3.794(1.678∼8.578)], LSaO2[OR (95%CI): 3.378(1.464∼7.796)] were possible contributing risk factors of fatty liver in patients with hypertension.
Conclusions Nocturnal chronic intermittent hypoxia may play a role in the pathogenesis of fatty liver disease in hypertensive patients.