Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in a young multiracial Asian population: A worrying ethnic predilection in Malay and Indian males

Wah Kheong Chan, Norhaniza Bahar, Hamizah Razlan, Anushya Vijayananthan, Pavai Sithaneshwar, Khean Lee Goh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Previous studies on multiracial Malaysian populations found inordinately high prevalence of NAFLD among Malays and Indians. Whether the prevalence of NAFLD is different among young adults of different ethnic origins is not known. We aimed to determine racial differences in NAFLD in a young multiracial Malaysian population and associated factors. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study on medical students from the University of Malaya. Diagnosis of NAFLD was by transabdominal ultrasonography and following exclusion of significant alcohol intake and other causes of chronic liver disease. Results: Data of 469 subjects were analyzed (mean age 23.2 ± 2.4 years, 40.3 % male). The racial distribution was: Chinese 53.9 %, Malay 30.5 % and Indian 15.6 %. The overall prevalence of NAFLD was 7.9 %. Subjects with NAFLD were older, had greater BMI and WC, higher SBP and DBP, higher FBS, serum TG and LDL levels, and lower serum HDL level. The prevalence of NAFLD was higher among males compared to females (17.9 % vs. 3.3 %, p < 0.001). The highest prevalence of NAFLD was seen among Indian and Malay males at 33.3 and 25.5 %, respectively, compared to Chinese males at 6.8 % (p < 0.001). No significant difference was seen among females of different races. Independent factors associated with NAFLD were male gender, obesity and hypertriglyceridemia. Conclusions: The difference in prevalence of NAFLD among the different ethnic groups can be observed as early as young adulthood. An inordinately high prevalence of NAFLD was observed among Malay and Indian males consistent with the higher prevalence of obesity in these groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalHepatology International
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Population
Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Obesity
Hypertriglyceridemia
Malaysia
Serum
Medical Students
Ethnic Groups
Liver Diseases
Young Adult
Ultrasonography
Chronic Disease
Cross-Sectional Studies
Alcohols

Keywords

  • Asian
  • Epidemiology
  • Ethnicity
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

Cite this

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in a young multiracial Asian population : A worrying ethnic predilection in Malay and Indian males. / Chan, Wah Kheong; Bahar, Norhaniza; Razlan, Hamizah; Vijayananthan, Anushya; Sithaneshwar, Pavai; Goh, Khean Lee.

In: Hepatology International, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2014, p. 121-127.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chan, Wah Kheong ; Bahar, Norhaniza ; Razlan, Hamizah ; Vijayananthan, Anushya ; Sithaneshwar, Pavai ; Goh, Khean Lee. / Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in a young multiracial Asian population : A worrying ethnic predilection in Malay and Indian males. In: Hepatology International. 2014 ; Vol. 8, No. 1. pp. 121-127.
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abstract = "Purpose: Previous studies on multiracial Malaysian populations found inordinately high prevalence of NAFLD among Malays and Indians. Whether the prevalence of NAFLD is different among young adults of different ethnic origins is not known. We aimed to determine racial differences in NAFLD in a young multiracial Malaysian population and associated factors. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study on medical students from the University of Malaya. Diagnosis of NAFLD was by transabdominal ultrasonography and following exclusion of significant alcohol intake and other causes of chronic liver disease. Results: Data of 469 subjects were analyzed (mean age 23.2 ± 2.4 years, 40.3 {\%} male). The racial distribution was: Chinese 53.9 {\%}, Malay 30.5 {\%} and Indian 15.6 {\%}. The overall prevalence of NAFLD was 7.9 {\%}. Subjects with NAFLD were older, had greater BMI and WC, higher SBP and DBP, higher FBS, serum TG and LDL levels, and lower serum HDL level. The prevalence of NAFLD was higher among males compared to females (17.9 {\%} vs. 3.3 {\%}, p < 0.001). The highest prevalence of NAFLD was seen among Indian and Malay males at 33.3 and 25.5 {\%}, respectively, compared to Chinese males at 6.8 {\%} (p < 0.001). No significant difference was seen among females of different races. Independent factors associated with NAFLD were male gender, obesity and hypertriglyceridemia. Conclusions: The difference in prevalence of NAFLD among the different ethnic groups can be observed as early as young adulthood. An inordinately high prevalence of NAFLD was observed among Malay and Indian males consistent with the higher prevalence of obesity in these groups.",
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AU - Goh, Khean Lee

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AB - Purpose: Previous studies on multiracial Malaysian populations found inordinately high prevalence of NAFLD among Malays and Indians. Whether the prevalence of NAFLD is different among young adults of different ethnic origins is not known. We aimed to determine racial differences in NAFLD in a young multiracial Malaysian population and associated factors. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study on medical students from the University of Malaya. Diagnosis of NAFLD was by transabdominal ultrasonography and following exclusion of significant alcohol intake and other causes of chronic liver disease. Results: Data of 469 subjects were analyzed (mean age 23.2 ± 2.4 years, 40.3 % male). The racial distribution was: Chinese 53.9 %, Malay 30.5 % and Indian 15.6 %. The overall prevalence of NAFLD was 7.9 %. Subjects with NAFLD were older, had greater BMI and WC, higher SBP and DBP, higher FBS, serum TG and LDL levels, and lower serum HDL level. The prevalence of NAFLD was higher among males compared to females (17.9 % vs. 3.3 %, p < 0.001). The highest prevalence of NAFLD was seen among Indian and Malay males at 33.3 and 25.5 %, respectively, compared to Chinese males at 6.8 % (p < 0.001). No significant difference was seen among females of different races. Independent factors associated with NAFLD were male gender, obesity and hypertriglyceridemia. Conclusions: The difference in prevalence of NAFLD among the different ethnic groups can be observed as early as young adulthood. An inordinately high prevalence of NAFLD was observed among Malay and Indian males consistent with the higher prevalence of obesity in these groups.

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