Is NAFLD a Risk Factor for Colorectal Polyps? An Analysis of Single Romanian Centre

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Background and Aim: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is considered to be the most common of all liver disorders, and its prevalence is almost certainly increasing. Because of the presence of NAFLD in metabolic syndrome and of latter’s role in the appearance of colorectal polyps, many studies have tried to find a link between the liver disease and colorectal polyps. The aim of the study was to determine whether NAFLD is a risk factor for colorectal polyps.

Material and Methods: We examined 560 patients diagnosed with NAFLD who underwent colonoscopy at Mures County Hospital, between January 2011 and June 2014. Fatty liver disease was assessed by abdominal ultrasound, with NAFLD defined as fatty liver disease in the absence of alcohol use of > 40 g/week or other secondary causes. We divided the 560 patients into two groups, according to the presence or absence of polyps. Data were collected from patient’s history, physical exam, laboratory tests and abdominal ultrasound.

Results: The prevalence of colorectal polyps was 16.6% (93) in the NAFLD patients. 51 (54.8%) of them were female, and the Chi2 test identified a statistically significant association between the female gender and the appearance of polyps (p=0.028; OR=1.652; CI= 1.052-2.596). No statistical association was found between the smoking status and the development of colorectal polyps (p=0.245) and only 18 of 93 patients were smokers. Of 93 patients with polyps, 68 (73.1%) have associated diabetes mellitus, but without statistical correlation (p=0.214). According to family history of colorectal polyps none of the patients have data about a possible polyposis pathology.

Conclusions: Our study demonstrates a relationship between some characteristics of NAFLD and the development of colorectal polyps. Further studies are required to confirm whether NAFLD is a risk factor for the appearance of polyps.

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Acta Medica Marisiensis

The Journal of The University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Targu-Mures

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