Statin Use Is Not Associated With Presence of and Severity of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Ebenezer T. Oni, Pragya Sinha, Adil Karim, Seth S. Martin, Michael J. Blaha, Arthur S. Agatston, Roger S. Blumenthal, Romeu S. Meneghelo, Raquel D. Conceiçao, Raul D. Santos, Khurram Nasir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Aims: There is concern that statin use may exacerbate nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We aimed to assess the association of statin use with NALFD and severity of liver fibrosis among NAFLD individuals. Methods: We evaluated 6,385 cross-sectional healthy Brazilian subjects (43 ± 10 years, 79% males) without clinical coronary heart disease between November 2008 and July 2010. NAFLD was diagnosed by ultrasound. Severity of liver fibrosis was predicted by fatty liver index and FIB-4. Results: NAFLD prevalence was 36% (n= 2310). Overall 552 (9%) individuals were using statins of whom 49% had NAFLD. Statin users were more likely to be men, older age, and have higher burden of risk factors (p <0.05). In age gender adjusted analysis the odds ratio for NAFLD with statin use was 0.87 (0.61-1.25, p= 0.46) in the presence of metabolic syndrome and 1.08 (0.88-1.32, p= 0.56) in its absence. On further adjustment for metabolic risk factors, LDL and smoking the results remained unchanged (OR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.65-1.32, p= 0.56 and 0.90 (0.69-1.18, p= 0.46). There was no significant association between statin use and fatty liver index in a subanalysis of NAFLD individuals (71 ± 18 vs. 69 ± 23, p= 0.18). Although FIB-4 was mildly elevated with statin use (1.20 ± 0.51 vs. 1.02 ± 0.46, p <0.001), a multivariate analysis adjusted for age, gender and risk factors revealed statin use was not associated with severe fibrosis (FIB >1.45) (OR 0.88, 95% CI: 0.60-1.29, p= 0.50). Conclusions: The results of this study favor statin use in subjects with NAFLD as its use is not associated with the presence of NAFLD or increased fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-57
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Medical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • FIB-4 index
  • Fatty Liver Index
  • Fibrosis
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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