BACKGROUND: Nutrition is a modifiable risk factor that plays an important role in the prevention or delaying of the onset of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Previous studies have focused on NAFLD and individual nutrients, which does not take into account combinations of food that are consumed. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the relationship between major dietary patterns and NAFLD.
METHODS: This case-control study was conducted on 225 newly diagnosed NAFLD patients and 450 healthy controls. Usual dietary intake over the preceding year was assessed using a validated 168-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. Major dietary patterns were determined by exploratory factor analysis.
RESULTS: Three dietary patterns, including "western dietary pattern", "healthy dietary pattern", and "traditional dietary pattern" were identified. Subjects in the highest tertile of healthy dietary pattern scores had a lower odds ratio for NAFLD than those in the lowest tertile. Compared with those in the lowest tertile, people in the highest tertile of "western dietary pattern" scores had greater odds for NAFLD. After adjusting for potential confounding factors, "western dietary pattern" had a positive significant effect on NAFLD occurrence. In contrast, "healthy dietary pattern" was associated with a decreased risk of NAFLD. Furthermore, Higher consumption of the "traditional dietary pattern" was significantly associated with NAFLD, albeit in the crude model only.
CONCLUSION: This study indicated that healthy and western dietary patterns may be associated with the risk of NAFLD. The results can be used for developing interventions in order to promote healthy eating for the prevention of NAFLD.
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- Dietary patterns
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Factor analysis
- Case–control study