BMC Endocr Disord. 2023 Jan 10;23(1):11. doi: 10.1186/s12902-022-01234-w.
We investigated the prevalence and clinical metabolic characteristics of lean nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in an elderly Chinese population and assessed the relevance of lipid markers and genetic variation. All 5,338 community subjects underwent detailed clinical and laboratory examinations and were divided into three groups: lean (Body mass index (BMI) < 23 kg/m2, n = 2,012), overweight (BMI = 23-24.9 kg/m2, n = 1,354), and obese (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2, n = 1,972). Single nucleotide polymorphisms were selected based on those reported in previous NAFLD or obesity genome-wide association studies. The frequencies of alleles and genotypes were calculated and statistically analyzed with Pearson’s χ2 tests. One-way ANCOVA was used to test the association between positive SNPs and metabolic parameters in lean NAFLD individuals. Our results showed that the C allele frequency of rs2279026, the G allele of rs2279028, the C allele of rs780093, and the C allele frequency of rs1260326 were higher in obese NAFLD than in lean NAFLD (P < 0.05). In addition, we observed an association between the CC of rs1421085, TT of rs3751812, AA of rs8050136, and AA of rs9939609 genotypes in the FTO gene and low-density lipoprotein levels (P < 0.05). In conclusion, our findings provide a unique perspective on the prevalence, genetic characteristics, and metabolic profile of NAFLD in older lean individuals in China. This is the first study to examine the association between genetic variants in the FTO, TFAP2B and GCKR genes and NAFLD in a cohort of lean individuals.