Disclosures: Liu reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
February 24, 2021
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Over 50% of overweight, obese adults may be diagnosed with MAFLD

Disclosures: Liu reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.
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Metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease is highly prevalent among overweight and obese adults, according to Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

“This calls for attention and dedicated action from primary care physicians, specialists, health policy makers and the general public alike,” Jiaye Liu, MD, from the department of thyroid and parathyroid surgery at West China Hospital, Sichuan University in Sichuan, China, and colleagues wrote.

They added, “We found that more than half of overweight or obese adults from the general population can be diagnosed as MAFLD. Alarmingly, MAFLD has become a pandemic irrespective of country or regional development and economic status.”

Liu and colleagues searched Medline, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane and Google scholar databases from start of the study to November 2020 to determine global prevalence of MAFLD. The researchers used DerSimonian-Laired random-effects model with Logit transformation for data analysis. They determined predictors of MAFLD prevalence in pooled statistics and high heterogeneity with sensitivity analysis and meta-regression.

The investigation comprised 116 relevant studies that included 2,667,052 individuals in the general population. The estimated global MAFLD prevalence among overweight or obese adults was 50.7% (95% CI, 46.9-54.4), regardless of diagnostic technique.

The most commonly used diagnostic technique was ultrasound, which showed a MAFLD prevalence rate of 51.3% (95% CI, 49.1-53.4). Men (59%; 95% CI, 52.0-65.6) had significantly higher MAFLD prevalence than women (47.5%; 95% CI, 40.7-54.5).

“Interestingly, MAFLD prevalence rates are comparable based on classical NAFLD and non-NAFLD studies in general population,” Liu and colleagues. “The pooled estimated prevalence of comorbidities such as type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome was 19.7% (95% CI, 12.8-29) and 57.5% (95% CI, 49.9-64.8), respectively.”