Decreased Quality of Life Is Significantly Associated With Body Composition in Patients With Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Niharika Samala, Archita Desai, Eduardo Vilar-Gomez, Emily R. Smith, Samer Gawrieh, Carla D. Kettler, Francis Pike, Naga Chalasani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: We studied impaired quality of life (QOL) and its determinants among individuals with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Methods: We collected data from 341 patients with NAFLD who completed the short form 36 (SF-36) questionnaire. Body composition and liver fibrosis were assessed in patients with NAFLD using bioelectrical impedance and transient elastography, respectively. Advanced fibrosis was defined as liver stiffness measurements (LSMs) of 12.1 kPa or greater. SF-36 scores of patients with NAFLD were compared with SF36 scores of individuals with chronic medical illnesses and the general population obtained from the published literature. Results: Among patients with NAFLD, percent body fat was negatively associated with scores from all 8 SF-36 scales, whereas lean body mass was positively associated with scores from 5 of 8 SF-36 scales. On multivariable analysis, SF-36 PF scores were negatively associated with type 2 diabetes, body mass index, and LSM and positively associated with lean body mass and level of alanine aminotransferase. Patients with NAFLD, and even those without advanced fibrosis, had significantly lower mean QOL scores than the control group or the general population. Conclusions: Individuals with NAFLD, even those without advanced fibrosis, have lower QOL than controls. Body composition associates with QOL in patients with NAFLD; both of the modifiable factors independently associated with QOL are related to body composition. Further studies are needed to investigate if interventions to improve body composition can increase QOL for patients with NAFLD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2980-2988.e4
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • BMI
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Steatosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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