Predictors of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Among Middle‑Aged Iranians

Reza Etminani, Zahara Abdul Manaf, Suzana Shahar, Leila Azadbakht, Peyman Adibi


Background: The prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is increasing worldwide. Therefore, we sought to determine the most important predictors of NAFLD among middle‑aged men and women in Isfahan, Iran.

Methods: A total of 413 individuals (163 men and 250 women) aged 30–60 years were selected by stratified random sampling. The participants had safe alcohol consumption habits (<2 drinks/day) and no symptoms of hepatitis B and C. NAFLD was diagnosed through ultrasound. Blood pressure, anthropometric, and body composition measurements were made and liver function tests were conducted. Biochemical assessments, including the measurement of fasting blood sugar (FBS) and ferritin levels, as well as lipid profile tests were also performed. Metabolic syndrome was evaluated according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria.

Results: The overall prevalence of ultrasound‑diagnosed NAFLD was
39.3%. The results indicated a significantly higher prevalence of NAFLD in men than in women (42.3% vs 30.4%; P < 0.05). Binary logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the significant variables as NAFLD predictors. Overall, male gender, high body mass index (BMI), high alanine aminotransferase (ALT), high FBS, and high ferritin were identified as the predictors of NAFLD. The only significant predictors of NAFLD among men were high BMI and high FBS. These predictors were high BMI, high FBS, and high ferritin in women (P < 0.05 for all variables).

Conclusions: The metabolic profile can be used for predicting NAFLD among men and women. BMI, FBS, ALT, and ferritin are the efficient predictors of NAFLD and can be used for NAFLD screening before liver 


Metabolic syndrome; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; ultrasonography

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