Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Associated Risk Factors in a Community-Based Sample of Mexican-Origin Adults

David O. Garcia, Kristin E. Morrill, Melissa Lopez-Pentecost, Edgar A. Villavicencio, Rosa M. Vogel, Melanie L. Bell, Yann C. Klimentidis, David G. Marrero, Cynthia A. Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The incidence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is highest among Mexican-origin (MO) adults. Few studies have estimated the prevalence of NAFLD in this subpopulation, particularly by sex and age. We assessed the prevalence of NAFLD in a community sample of MO adults residing in a border region of southern Arizona and determined risk factors associated with NAFLD. A total of 307 MO adults (n = 194 women; n = 113 men) with overweight or obesity completed an in-person study visit, including vibration-controlled transient elastography (FibroScan) for the assessment of NAFLD status. A continuous attenuation parameter score of ≥288 dB/m (≥5% hepatic steatosis) indicated NAFLD status. Multivariable logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for NAFLD. We identified 155 participants (50%) with NAFLD, including 52% of women and 48% of men; there were no sex differences in steatosis (men, 287.8 dB/m; women, 288.4 dB/m). Sex, age, patatin-like phospholipase domain containing 3 (PNPLA3) risk allele carrier status, comorbidities, and cultural and behavioral variables were not associated with NAFLD status. There was some evidence for effect modification of body mass index (BMI) by sex (Pinteraction = 0.08). The estimated OR for an increase in BMI of 5 kg/m2 was 3.36 (95% CI, 1.90, 5.91) for men and 1.92 (95% CI, 1.40, 2.64) for women. In post hoc analyses treating steatosis as a continuous variable in a linear regression, significant effect modification was found for BMI by sex (Pinteraction = 0.03), age (P = 0.05), and PNPLA3 risk allele carrier status (P = 0.02). Conclusion: Lifestyle interventions to reduce body weight, with consideration of age and genetic risk status, are needed to stem the higher rates of NAFLD observed for MO populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1322-1335
Number of pages14
JournalHepatology Communications
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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