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The associations between physical activity intensity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease

Kerr, Catherine J and Waterworth, Sally P and Brodie, David and Sandercock, Gavin RH and Ingle, Lee (2021) 'The associations between physical activity intensity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease.' Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. ISSN 0815-9319

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Abstract

Background and Aim High levels of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness may protect against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. We investigated whether different physical activity intensities and cardiorespiratory fitness were independent predictors of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Methods We included healthy adults with no prior diagnosis of liver dysfunction. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease prevalence was estimated based on fatty liver index scores. We created tertiles of self-reported low, moderate, and vigorous physical activity. Participants completed an incremental treadmill test to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness, and data were subsequently separated into quintile groups (Q1 [least fit] through Q5 [most fit]). Results Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease prevalence in our sample of 7111 adults was 28.3% in male adults and 6.5% in female adults. Logistic regression showed the relative odds of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease were 42% lower if > 60 min/week of vigorous physical activity was maintained (odds ratio [OR] = 0.58, confidence interval [CI]: 0.49–0.68). There was a negative dose–response association between cardiorespiratory fitness and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease between Q1 and Q4. Compared with Q1, odds were 39% (OR = 0.61, CI: 0.51–0.73) lower in Q2, through to 51% lower in Q5 (OR = 0.49, CI: 0.41–0.60). Moderate physical activity did not reduce the odds of non-alcoholic liver disease. Conclusions We found the lowest prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in adults achieving > 60 min/week of vigorous physical activity. However, a stronger dose–response relationship existed between cardiorespiratory fitness and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Improving cardiorespiratory fitness as a potential therapeutic target for treatment and prevention of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease warrants further investigation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fatty liver, Physical activity, Physical exertion, Cardiorespiratory fitness
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2021 08:11
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 08:11
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30980

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