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In Diabetologia ; h5-index 79.0

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS : Type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are prevalent diseases of metabolic origin. We examined the association between NAFLD and the development of type 2 diabetes among non-Asian adults, and whether the association differs by race.

METHODS : We analysed data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, a population-based prospective cohort study. Participants underwent non-contrast abdominal computed tomography (CT) at baseline (2010-2011) and assessment of glucose measures at the follow-up exam (2015-2016). NAFLD was defined as liver attenuation ≤51 Hounsfield units on CT images after exclusion for other liver fat causes. Race was self-reported. We used targeted maximum likelihood estimation (TMLE) with machine-learning algorithms to estimate difference in type 2 diabetes risk between the NAFLD and non-NAFLD groups.

RESULTS : Of the 1995 participants without type 2 diabetes at baseline (mean age±SD, 50.0±3.6 years; 59% women; 55.0% White and 45.0% Black), 21.7% of White and 16.8% of Black participants had NAFLD at baseline, and 3.7% of White and 8.0% of Black participants developed type 2 diabetes at follow up. After multivariable adjustment, risk difference for type 2 diabetes associated with NAFLD vs no NAFLD was 4.1% (95% CI 0.3%, 7.9%) among White participants and -1.9% (95% CI -5.7%, 2.0%) in Black participants.

CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION : NAFLD was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes among White participants but not among Black participants. This finding suggests that the effect of liver fat on impaired glucose metabolism may be smaller in Black than in White individuals.

Hatano Yu, VanWagner Lisa B, Carnethon Mercedes R, Bancks Michael P, Carson April P, Lloyd-Jones Donald M, Østbye Truls, Viera Anthony J, Yano Yuichiro


Machine learning, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Racial difference, Type 2 diabetes