Statin Use May Help in Fatty Liver Disease

J Lee et al. The American Journal of Gastroenterology: January 2021 – Volume 116 – Issue 1 – p 116-124. Full text link: Effects of Statin Use on the Development and Progression of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Nationwide Nested Case-Control Study,

Using more than 11 million subjects enrolled in Nationwide Korean database, the authors explored the associations between statin use and fatty liver disease in adults (20 yrs or older).

Key findings:

  • The use of statin was associated with a reduced risk of NAFLD development (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.66; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.65–0.67). NAFLD was diagnosed by calculating fatty liver index (FLI).
  • The use of statins reduced the risk of significant liver fibrosis (AOR 0.43; 95% CI 0.42–0.44). Fibrosis was based on a BARD score ≥ 2.

The effects of statins may be mediated by anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic actions, which have been evident in experimental models of chronic liver disease.

My take: Statin use appears beneficial in patients with NAFLD. Since dyslipidemia is frequent in patients with NAFLD, there should be a low threshold for using statin therapy.

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