Nowadays, aortic valve sclerosis (AVSc) might be considered an atherosclerosis-like process due to significant association with age, male gender and some major features of metabolic syndrome. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been recognized as a clinical expression of the metabolic syndrome and as a predictor of cardiovascular events. We aim, with this meta-analysis, to evaluate the correlation between NAFLD and AVSc; this finding might suggest new insights and interactions among NAFLD, AVSc and the atherosclerotic process.
Methods and results
A detailed search was conducted according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines to identify all studies providing data about the association between AVSc and NAFLD. 3 studies enrolling a total of 1172 patients with NAFLD and 1467 controls without NAFLD were included in the meta-analysis. The prevalence of AVSc was 41.3% (95% CI: 32.0%, 51.4%) in NAFLD patients and 24.6% (18.4%, 32.0%) in subjects without NAFLD with a corresponding OR of 2.28 (95% CI: 1.21, 4.28, p = 0.01, I2: 77.6%, p = 0.011). A meta-regression analysis showed that age, prevalence of male gender, hypertension, body mass index, and dyslipidemia were directly and significantly associated with the difference in the prevalence of AVSc between patients with NAFLD and those without.
In conclusion, our meta-analysis shows a significant association between NAFLD and AVSc. However, further evidence is needed to validate these findings and find out if there is a real link or just a mere association.
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Published online: April 30, 2016
Accepted: April 29, 2016
Received: April 12, 2016
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