Objectives: Fatty liver disease (FLD) is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, it is unclear whether FLD per se is an independent risk factor of CVD or combined unfavorable metabolic components with metabolic syndrome (MetS). In this study, we examined the independent impact of FLD on the coronary artery calcification (CAC) score progression.

Methods: We examined 1,173 asymptomatic participants who underwent repeated CAC score measurement during routine health examinations. Subjects were categorized into 4 groups according to the presence (+) or absence (-) of FLD and MetS. The CAC score progression was defined as either incident CAC in a population free of CAC at baseline or increase ≥ 2.5 units between the baseline and final square root of CAC scores participants who had detectable CAC at baseline examination.

Results: Among the participants, 44.8% (526), 23.2% (272), 8.8% (103) and 23.2% (272) were classified as FLD(-)/MetS(-), FLD(+)/MetS(-), FLD(-)/MetS(+), and FLD(+)/MetS(+), respectively. The proportions of subjects who developed CAC progression was 18.6% (98), 28.3% (77), 29.1% (30) and 32.0% (87) in FLD(-)/Mets(-), FLD(+)/Mets(-), FLD(-)/MetS(+), and FLD(+)/MetS(+), respectively. In logistic regression analysis, FLD(+)/MetS(+) were at significantly higher risk of CAC progression compared to FLD(-)/MetS(-) [multivariate adjusted-odds ratio (OR) 1.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.18-2.62]. FLD(+)/MetS(-) also demonstrated higher risk of CAC progression [multivariate adjusted-OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.05-2.23].

Conclusions: FLD is an independent risk factor for CAC progression irrespective of the presence of metabolic syndrome. Special attention should be paid to subjects with FLD for the prevention of future cardiovascular events, even though MetS does not coexist.


Y. Cho: None. Y. Kang: None. C. Park: None. S. Park: None. W. Lee: None. J. Park: None. C. Jung: None.

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