Red Meat Consumption and Risk of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

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To evaluate the association between meat consumption and risk of NAFLD in the Golestan Cohort Study (GCS), 50,045 participants were enrolled, age 40 to 75 years in Iran. Dietary information was collected using a 116-item, semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire at baseline (2004 to 2008). A random sample of 1612 cohort members participated in a liver-focused study in 2011. NAFLD was ascertained through ultrasound. 

Total red meat consumption and total white meat consumption were categorized into quartiles, based on the CGS population, with the first quartile as the reference group. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI).

The median intake of total red meat was 17 grams per day and total white meat was 53 grams per day. During follow-up, 505 individuals (37.7%) were diagnosed with NAFLD and 124 of them (9.2%), had elevated ALT. High total red meat consumption (OR = 1.59) and organ meat consumption (OR = 1.70) were associated with NAFLD. Total white meat, chicken or fish consumption did not show significant association with NAFLD.

Hashimean, M., Merat, S., Poustchi, H., et al. “Red Meat Consumption and Risk of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in a Population With Low Meat Consumption:  The Golestan Cohort Study.”  American Journal of Gastroenterology; Vol. 116, August 2021; pp. 1657 – 1675.

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