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Sleep Tied to Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Fatty Liver Disease

Highest risk for MAFLD was seen for those with disturbance in nighttime sleep and prolonged daytime napping

TUESDAY, Aug. 2, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Sleep behaviors are associated with the risk of metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD), according to a study published online July 28 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Jialu Yang, Ph.D., from the Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Food, Nutrition, and Health in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues examined the association between dimensions of sleep behaviors and the risk for MAFLD in a cross-sectional study of 5,011 participants with radiologically diagnosed MAFLD.

The researchers found that after full adjustments, including obesity, there were significant associations seen for late bedtime, snoring, and daytime napping for over 30 minutes with increased risks of MAFLD (odds ratios of 1.37, 1.59, and 1.17, respectively). The highest risk for MAFLD was seen for participants with disturbance in nighttime sleep and prolonged daytime napping (odds ratio, 2.38). A 16 percent reduction in risk of MAFLD was seen for each additional increase of healthy sleep score. People with sedentary lifestyle and central obesity experienced more pronounced adverse effects from poor sleep quality. However, only 20.77 percent of the total effect of sleep quality on MAFLD risk was due to obesity.

“Our study provides evidence that even a moderate improvement in sleep quality is sufficient to reduce the risk for fatty liver disease, especially in those with unhealthy lifestyles,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Given that large proportions of subjects suffering from poor sleep quality are underdiagnosed and undertreated, our study calls for more research into this field and strategies to improve sleep quality.”

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