Severe COVID-19 Symptoms Recorded in Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

In keeping with earlier data, investigators suggested that metabolic syndrome was associated with severe cases of infection.

A new investigation from Uzbekistan suggested that metabolic syndrome was significantly associated with severe COVID-19 in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

The data were presented this week at the 19th World Congress Insulin Resistance Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease CME Conference (WCIRD) during the session, “Influence of metabolic syndrome components in the course of COVID-19 in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease”.

In the present study, Guzal Naimovna Sobirova, MD, Tashken Medical Academny, Uzbekistan, and fellow investigators cited emerging data on the novel coronavirus and its effect on various parts and functions of the body.

Previous studies had also shown that metabolic syndrome was associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

As such, Sobirova and colleagues estimated the possible influence of metabolic syndrome components in the progression of COVID-19 in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

The Methods

Sobirova and colleagues enrolled 172 consecutive patients in the present study.

All eligible patients had nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome, as well as a prior infection with the COVID-19 virus. Patients ranged from 38-72 years, with a mean age of 54.4±12.8 years. Nearly half of all patients (47%) were male.

After the initial enrollment period, patients were evenly divided into 2 groups.

Groups were determined based on the presence or absence of metabolic syndrome. From there, all baseline, anthropometric, laboratory and instrumental data were obtained and analyzed by Sobirova and fellow investigators.

All statistical analyses were performed by STATA software.

The Findings

The investigators reported that patients with concomitant metabolic syndrome, which made up Group 1, had severe reactions to COVID-19 than those without (P<0.05).

Of the 86 patients in Group 1, 18% had severe cases of COVID-19, while 11% of all patients from Group 2 had severe course of infective disease.

According to Sobirova and colleagues, multiple regression logistic analysis featured in the study showed that among metabolic syndrome components, having abdominal obesity (2.6; 1.5-4.2; CI 95%; P0.05), , insulin resistance (2.1; 1.3-3.8’ CI 95%; P <0.05) and hypertension (1.5; 1.2-2.3; CI 95%; P<0.05), all tended to result in severe COVID-19 in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

However, when investigators separately analyzed these components by gender, there were no significant changes between male and female women in the study (P>0.05).

With these findings, Sobirova and colleagues concluded that metabolic syndrome was significantly associated with more severe cases of COVID-19 in this patient population.

Additionally, among metabolic syndrome components, abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, and hypertension were all independently associated with severe COVID-19 regardless of gender.

The investigative team called for additional and larger studies to be conducted.

“Further studies are required with a large amount of patients,” the team wrote.