Favorable association between Mediterranean diet (MeD) and DASH with NAFLD among Iranian adults of the Amol Cohort Study (AmolCS)

Azam Doustmohammadian, Cain C.T. Clark, Mansooreh Maadi, Nima Motamed, Elham Sobhrakhshankhah, Hossein Ajdarkosh, Mohsen Reza Mansourian, Saeed Esfandyari, Nazanin Asghari Hanjani, Mahsa Nikkhoo, Farhad Zamani

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    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an emerging cause of chronic liver diseases and a major health problem worldwide. Dietary patterns may play a critical role in controlling and preventing this disease, but the available evidence is scarce. The current study aims to ascertain the association of adherence to the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and Mediterranean diet (MeD) with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) among Iranian adults of the Amol Cohort Study (AmolCS). In a cross-sectional analysis among 3220 adults (55.3% men), age ≥ 18 years (46.96 ± 14.67), we measured usual dietary intake with a validated food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and then calculated dietary pattern scores for DASH and MeD. Sociodemographic and lifestyle factors were collected by a structured questionnaire. The presence and degree of NAFLD were also determined by abdominal sonography. Multiple regression models were used to estimate NAFLD odds across tertiles of DASH and Mediterranean dietary scores. Dietary DASH and Mediterranean components were adjusted for total energy intake, based on the residual methods. After adjusting for multiple potential confounders, we found an inverse association of DASH and MeD with NAFLD (Ptrend = 0.02, and Ptrend = 0.002, respectively). Those in the highest tertiles of adherence to the DASH and MeD had the lowest risk for NAFLD (OR = 0.80, 95%CI = 0.66–0.96, OR = 0.64, 95%CI = 0.52–0.78, respectively). The results of logistic analysis of MeD, stratified by gender and abdominal obesity, revealed the favorable association was more pronounced in women (OR = 0.42, 95%CI = 0.29–0.61, Ptrend = 0.004), and in participants with or without abdominal obesity (OR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.47–0.81, Ptrend = 0.03, OR = 0.64, 95%CI = 0.475–0.91, Ptrend = 0.04, respectively). Similar results were obtained for the adherence to DASH diet score with the prevalence of NAFLD patients with abdominal obesity (OR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.57–0.97, Ptrend = 0.04). The findings suggested the favorable association between DASH and MeD with NAFLD in Iranian adults, especially women and subjects with or without abdominal obesity. Further prospective investigations are needed to confirm the integrity of our findings.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number2131
    Number of pages9
    JournalScientific Reports
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2022

    Bibliographical note

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder


    This research was conducted by a grant from the Gastrointestinal and liver Diseases Research Center (GILDRC), Iran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS) (Grant No: 99–2-30–19054).

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2022, The Author(s).


    • Diseases
    • Health care
    • Risk factors

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General


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