Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with increased carotid intima-media thickness only in type 2 diabetic subjects with insulin resistance

Soo Kyung Kim, Young Ju Choi, Byung Wook Huh, Seok Won Park, Eun Jig Lee, Yong Wook Cho, Kap Bum Huh

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Context: The association between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and subclinical atherosclerosis in type 2 diabetes is controversial. Objective: The objective of the study was to investigate the participation of insulin resistance in the association of NAFLD and the carotid atherosclerotic burden in a large cohort of patients with type 2 diabetes. Design, Setting, and Patients: This was an observational study performed in 4437 consecutively enrolled patients with type 2 diabetes. Main Outcomes Measures: Hepatic steatosis and mean carotid intima-media thickness (C-IMT) were measured using ultrasonography. Insulin resistance was assessed using the short insulin tolerance test. Results: The prevalence of NAFLD was 72.7% in the whole study population. Among subjects with NAFLD, 23.2% were not insulin resistant. There were significant differences in C-IMT and the frequency of carotid atherosclerosisbetweengroups classified by insulin resistance within thesame NAFLD strata. C-IMT was highest in subjects with both NAFLD and insulin resistance [0.844±0.004 (mean ± SE) mm vs 0.786 ± 0.008, 0.821 ± 0.007, and 0.807 ± 0.006 mm, P for trend <.001, respectively, in insulin sensitive subjects without NAFLD, insulin resistant subjects without NAFLD, andinsulin sensitive subjects with NAFLD]. These differences remained after adjusting for potential confounders. However, C-IMT in subjects having only NAFLD or insulin resistance was not higher than that in those with neither NAFLD nor insulin resistance. Conclusions: NAFLD is very common in subjects with type 2 diabetes, but NAFLD not accompanied by insulin resistance is not associated with a carotid atherosclerotic burden. However, having both NAFLD and insulin resistance seemed to be an independent predictor of increased C-IMT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1879-1884
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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