Obesity in Early Life May Lead to Liver Disease in Adolescence
(HealthDay News) — Earlier life trajectories of adiposity are associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in adolescents, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Oyekoya T. Ayonrinde, MBBS, from the University of Western Australia in Perth, and colleagues examined the correlations between NAFLD diagnosed during adolescence and earlier life trajectories of anthropometry in a population-based cohort. Questionnaires and liver ultrasound were used to assess NAFLD in 1,170 adolescents aged 17 years.
The researchers found that 15.2% of adolescents were diagnosed with NAFLD. There was no association for birth anthropometry, including birth weight, skinfold thickness, and ponderal index, with NAFLD. Adiposity differences between 17-year-olds with and without NAFLD were evident from age 3 years. There were correlations for greater adiposity trajectories for weight, body mass index, skinfold thickness, mid-arm circumference, and chest circumference from age 3 onward with NAFLD diagnosis and severity of hepatic steatosis at age 17 years, particular in males (P<0.05). For each adiposity measure, the strength of associations increased with age after 3 years (all P<0.001).
"Trajectories of childhood adiposity are associated with NAFLD," the authors write. "Exploration of clinically relevant risk factors and preventative measures for NAFLD should begin during childhood."