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Yuhong Zhao 1 Article
Metabolic Risk/Epidemiology
Healthy Lifestyle and the Risk of Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Fatty Liver Disease: A Large Prospective Cohort Study
Qing Chang, Yixiao Zhang, Tingjing Zhang, Zuyun Liu, Limin Cao, Qing Zhang, Li Liu, Shaomei Sun, Xing Wang, Ming Zhou, Qiyu Jia, Kun Song, Yang Ding, Yuhong Zhao, Kaijun Niu, Yang Xia
Received April 27, 2023  Accepted November 30, 2023  Published online March 19, 2024  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2023.0133    [Epub ahead of print]
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Background
The incidence density of metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) and the effect of a healthy lifestyle on the risk of MAFLD remain unknown. We evaluated the prevalence and incidence density of MAFLD and investigated the association between healthy lifestyle and the risk of MAFLD.
Methods
A cross-sectional analysis was conducted on 37,422 participants to explore the prevalence of MAFLD. A cohort analysis of 18,964 individuals was conducted to identify the incidence of MAFLD, as well as the association between healthy lifestyle and MAFLD. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate the hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) with adjustments for confounding factors.
Results
The prevalence of MAFLD, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and their comorbidities were 30.38%, 28.09%, and 26.13%, respectively. After approximately 70 thousand person-years of follow-up, the incidence densities of the three conditions were 61.03, 55.49, and 51.64 per 1,000 person-years, respectively. Adherence to an overall healthy lifestyle was associated with a 19% decreased risk of MAFLD (HR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.72 to 0.92), and the effects were modified by baseline age, sex, and body mass index (BMI). Subgroup analyses revealed that younger participants, men, and those with a lower BMI experienced more significant beneficial effects from healthy lifestyle.
Conclusion
Our results highlight the beneficial effect of adherence to a healthy lifestyle on the prevention of MAFLD. Health management for improving dietary intake, physical activity, and smoking and drinking habits are critical to improving MAFLD.

Diabetes Metab J : Diabetes & Metabolism Journal