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Association between barium exposure and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in U.S. adults

Journal Volume 86 - 2023
Issue Fasc.2 - Original articles
Author(s) G. Maodong 1, S. Xin 1, J. Luo 2
Full article
Full Article
PAGES 298-305
(1) Department of Gastroenterology, Jinhua Hospital of Zhejiang University, Zhejiang, China
(2) Department of Clinical Science and Education, Section of Respiratory Medicine, Jinhua Hospital of Zhejiang University, Zhejiang, China

Background and aims: There are very limited studies that have investigated the influence of environmental barium exposure on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in the general adult population. The purpose of the present paper was to examine any correlation between urinary barium levels (UBLs) and the risk of NAFLD.

Patients and methods: A total of 4,556 participants aged ≥ 20 years were recruited from the National Health and Nutritional Survey. NAFLD was defined as the U.S. fatty liver index (USFLI) ≥ 30 in the absence of other chronic liver disease. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted to inspect the correlation between UBLs and the risk of NAFLD.

Results: The outcome of adjusting covariates revealed a positive correlation between the natural log -transformed UBLs (Ln-UBLs) and the risk of NAFLD (OR: 1.24, 95%CI: 1.12-1.37, P<0.001). After dividing Ln-UBLs into quartiles, the participants in the highest quartile exhibited a 1.65-fold (95% CI: 1.26-2.15) increased likelihood of having NAFLD in contrast with the bottom quartile in the full model, and a distinct trend across the quartiles could be found (P for trend<0.001). Moreover, in the interaction analyses, it was further observed that the association between Ln-UBLs and NAFLD was modified by gender and was noticeably more pronounced in males (P for interaction =0.003).

Conclusions: Our findings provided evidence of a positive correlation between UBLs and the prevalence of NAFLD. Furthermore, this association changed across gender and was more pronounced in males. Nevertheless, our finding requires further confirmation with prospective cohort studies in the future.

Keywords: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, NHANES, barium.

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
© Acta Gastro-Enterologica Belgica.
PMID 37428162