Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver or hepatic steatosis is considered the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome. Statins are often used by patients with metabolic syndrome, but their effect in steatosis is not well established. Aims: To study the association between statins and the presence of steatosis. Methods: In the population-based Rotterdam Study, 2578 subjects underwent liver ultrasonography and had prescription data available. In a cross-sectional design, we investigated the effect of current, past, and duration of statin use. Logistic regression analyses were adjusted for age, sex, and other known risk factors. Results: The prevalence of steatosis was 35.3%. We identified 631 current and 359 past statin users. In multivariable analyses, current statin use >2 years was associated with a significantly lower steatosis prevalence [OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.19-0.96]. Stratification by mean body mass index showed that this association was stronger in patients with body mass index ≥27.5 [OR 0.30, 95% CI 0.11-0.81 for current use >2 years], while in patients with body mass index <27.5 the association was non-significant. Conclusion: Within the Rotterdam study, in patients with body mass index ≥27.5 current use of statins for >2 years was associated with a lower prevalence of steatosis.

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Digestive and Liver Disease
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

de Keyser, C. E., Koehler, E., Schouten, J. N. L., Visser, L., Hofman, A., Janssen, H., & Stricker, B. (2014). Statin therapy is associated with a reduced risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver in overweight individuals. Digestive and Liver Disease, 46(8), 720–725. doi:10.1016/j.dld.2014.04.002