There is controversy regarding the association between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and osteoporosis. Our study aim was to assess bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD and examine if the severity of NAFLD affects BMD. A total of 147 adult women (n = 108) and men (n = 39) aged 18–76 years (mean ± standard deviation [SD] age 45.3 ± 12.5) were recruited in this cross-sectional study and underwent a liver biopsy and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). NAFLD activity score (NAS) based on the degree of steatosis, lobular inflammation and hepatocellular ballooning was used to assess NAFLD severity. The majority of subjects, 53%, had steatosis, 25% had nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) whereas 23% served as control subjects with no evidence of NAFLD. There were no significant differences in the lumbar spine (1.09 ± 0.12, 1.11 ± 0.18, and 1.12 ± 0.15 g/cm2, p = 0.69, in controls, steatosis, and NASH, respectively) or hip BMD (1.10 ± 0.15, 1.12 ± 0.13, and 1.09 ± 0.13 g/cm2, p = 0.48, in controls, steatosis, and NASH, respectively) between the groups. Adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, and diabetes in multiple regression models did not alter the results. There was no correlation between NAS and neither lumbar spine BMD (r = 0.06, p = 0.471), nor hip BMD (r = −0.03, p = 0.716). In conclusion, BMD was similar across the spectrum of NAFLD in both genders and not related to the severity of the underlying histological lesions, suggesting that neither steatosis nor NASH exerts a detrimental effect on BMD in these relatively young patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10714
JournalJBMR Plus
Issue number3
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

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© 2022 The Authors. JBMR Plus published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.




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