Background Previous studies propose that hypothyroidism might play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), but findings from published studies on the relationship between hypothyroidism and NAFLD are still controversial. Our study aimed to make a comprehensive evaluation of the relationship between hypothyroidism and NAFLD through a meta-analysis. Methods PubMed, China Dissertation Database, and EMBASE databases were searched to find observational studies assessing the relationship between hypothyroidism and NAFLD. The pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated to evaluate the strength of the relationship between hypothyroidism and NAFLD through meta-analysis. Results Thirteen articles were ultimately included in our meta-analysis. Meta-analysis of the 13 studies found a high correlation between hypothyroidism and NAFLD (OR = 1.52, 95% CI 1.24-1.87, P < 0.001). Meta-analysis of 9 studies providing adjusted ORs found that hypothyroidism was independently correlated with NAFLD (OR = 1.72, 95% CI 1.32-2.23, P < 0.001). Subgroup analysis found that both overt hypothyroidism and subclinical hypothyroidism were significantly correlated with NAFLD, and the pooled ORs were 1.70 (95% CI 1.23-2.36, P = 0.002) and 1.40 (95% CI 1.10-1.77, P = 0.006), respectively. Besides, meta-analysis of studies providing adjusted ORs also found that both overt hypothyroidism and subclinical hypothyroidism were independently correlated with NAFLD, and the pooled ORs were 1.81 (95% CI 1.30-2.52, P < 0.001) and 1.63 (95% CI 1.19-2.24, P = 0.002), respectively. Conclusion The meta-analysis provides strong epidemiological evidence for the relationship between hypothyroidism and NAFLD. Both individuals with subclinical and overt hypothyroidism are at higher risk for NAFLD than euthyroid subjects.
He, W., An, X., Li, L., Shao, X., Li, Q., Yao, Q., & Zhang, J. (2017). Relationship between Hypothyroidism and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 8. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2017.00335