The prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is continuing to rise in many countries, paralleling the epidemic of obesity worldwide. In the last years, the concept of metabolically healthy obesity [MHO, generally defined as obesity without metabolic syndrome (MetS)] has raised considerable scientific interest. MHO is a complex phenotype with risks intermediate between metabolically healthy individuals with normal-weight (NWMH) and patients who are obese and metabolically unhealthy (MUO, i.e. obesity with MetS). In this review we aimed to examine the association and pathophysiological link of NAFLD with MHO and MUO. Compared to NWMH individuals, patients with obesity, regardless of the presence of MetS features, are at higher risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events. Moreover, MHO patients have a greater risk of NAFLD development and progression compared to NWMH individuals. However, this risk is generally lower than that of MUO patients, suggesting a stronger adverse effect of coexisting MetS disorders than obesity per se on the severity of NAFLD. Nevertheless, since MHO is a dynamic state (with a significant proportion of MHO subjects progressing to MUO over time) and NAFLD itself may predict the transition from MHO to MUO, we believe that any effort should be made to identify NAFLD in all obese individuals, although they appear to be "metabolically healthy". Future research is needed to better understand the role of NAFLD and other pathogenic factors potentially involved in the transition from MHO to MUO and to elucidate how this transition may affect the presence and severity of NAFLD.
|Titolo:||Epidemiology and pathophysiology of the association between NAFLD and metabolically healthy or metabolically unhealthy obesity|
TARGHER, Giovanni [Writing – Original Draft Preparation]
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|