Introduction. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is regarded as the hepatic expression of the metabolic syndrome, both conditions presenting similar clinical features.
Aim. The aim of this study was to evaluate, among diabetic subjects, the relationship between fatty liver load and the presence of metabolic syndrome criteria.
Methods. An observational study was conducted on 92 subjects with type 2 diabetes. We followed anthropometric measurments, lipid profile, blood pressure and the degree of hepatic steatosis using ultrasonography.
Results. The average age of the study group was 60,38 ± 10,37 years, with an approximately equal distribution by gender (48% male and 52% female). More than half of the subjects presented hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and low HDL cholesterol level. Most of the patients included in the study had varying degrees of liver fat load (only 9,89% of cases of apparently normal liver on ultrasound), and met the criteria for metabolic syndrome (81,31%). It was found that the frequency of the cases with fatty liver impairment was significantly higher in subjects with metabolic syndrome (32,43% compared to 5,88% for those without metabolic syndrome, p = 0,01) and the frequency of the cases with normal liver were significantly higher in subjects without metabolic syndrome (23,53% to 6,76%, p=0,02).
Conclusion. We can say that NAFLD is a risk factor for the presence of metabolic syndrome and it can be considered the hepatic expression of this syndrome.