Hepatic steatosis is associated with lower levels of physical activity measured via accelerometry
Objective Prior studies on the association of physical activity (PA) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are limited by reliance on subjective measures of PA. We examined the association between objectively measured PA and hepatic steatosis defined by computed tomography (CT). Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study of 1,060 Framingham Heart Study participants who participated in the Multidetector CT 2 substudy and who underwent assessment of PA via accelerometry. Hepatic steatosis was estimated by liver attenuation, as measured by CT. We explored the relationship between liver attenuation and PA using multivariable regression models. Results In multivariable-adjusted models, we observed an inverse association between PA and liver attenuation. Each 30 minutes/day increase in moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA) was associated with a reduced odds of hepatic steatosis (OR = 0.62, P < 0.001). This association was attenuated and no longer statistically significant after adjustment for body mass index (BMI) (OR = 0.77, P = 0.05) or visceral adipose tissue (VAT) (OR = 0.83, P = 0.18). Participants who met the national PA recommendations of engaging in ≥150 minutes/week of MVPA had the lowest odds of hepatic steatosis, even after adjusting for BMI (OR = 0.63, P = 0.007) or VAT (OR = 0.67, P = 0.03). Conclusions There is an inverse association between PA and hepatic steatosis. Participants who met the national PA guidelines had the lowest prevalence of hepatic steatosis.
This work was supported by the Boston University School of Medicine, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study (contract N01-HC-25195), and the Division of Intramural Research of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences