Link Identified Between Lifestyle Choices, Gender, and Severity of Fatty Liver Disease in Workers

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A recent study published in the journal Nutrients has found that certain factors, including lifestyle choices, gender, and risks of inflammation, liver dysfunction, and metabolic abnormalities, are linked to the severity of fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease, specifically non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, is estimated to affect around one-third of the global population, with a prevalence of about 30% in Asia.

The disease is known to increase the risk of various multisystemic illnesses such as metabolic abnormalities, cardiovascular disease, renal problems, and type 2 diabetes. In severe cases, it can also progress to liver cirrhosis, acute hepatitis, and hepatocellular carcinoma.

The etiology of fatty liver disease can be influenced by genetic, metabolic, epigenetic, and lifestyle factors. Those genetically susceptible to the disease are at risk of developing it when engaging in sedentary behavior and unhealthy lifestyles, which result in the accumulation of fat and adiposity. Additionally, increasing evidence suggests that gender may play a significant role in the risk of fatty liver disease.

The study in question was conducted as part of Taiwan’s workplace health promotion scheme, with voluntary participation from individuals above the age of 20 working in three central Taiwanese industrial enterprises. Participants were asked to respond to a questionnaire assessing their lifestyle habits related to health, including physical activity levels, dietary choices, alcohol consumption, and smoking behavior. The questionnaire included categories on nutrition and exercise, with responses graded on a four-point Likert scale.

Ultrasound images were used to determine the severity of fatty liver disease, with grades ranging from absence to mild, moderate, and severe. Metabolic risk factors such as blood pressure, waist circumference, triglyceride levels, fasting blood glucose, high-density lipoprotein levels were also assessed, along with cardiovascular and inflammatory biomarkers.

The study revealed a gender-based trend, with men being at a greater risk of fatty liver disease compared to women. Approximately 45% of the participants had fatty liver disease, and the severity correlated with lower physical activity levels. The prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver was also higher among male participants, potentially due to unhealthier lifestyle habits such as poor dietary choices, increased smoking, and higher alcohol consumption.

The severity of fatty liver disease was associated with a higher risk of metabolic abnormalities, liver dysfunction, and inflammation. Current alcohol drinkers varied across the severity categories, with the highest percentage of drinkers observed in the severe fatty liver category.

These findings underscore the importance of promoting healthier lifestyle choices, particularly among male workers, to reduce the risk and severity of fatty liver disease. Addressing factors such as physical inactivity, poor diet, smoking, and excessive alcohol intake can play a significant role in preventing and managing the disease. Additionally, the study highlights the need for ongoing workplace health promotion initiatives to support employees in making healthier choices.

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  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it