As pointed out by Gabriella Assante et al. (The Institute of Hepatology, Foundation for Liver Research, London, UK), two recent studies in the Journal of Hepatology suggest that MAFLD is a risk factor for progression to severe COVID-19. More studies are required to confirm this. However, it potentially adds MAFLD to a list of risk factors that also includes obesity, type 2 diabetes, chronic lung disease, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, cardiovascular disease, immunodeficiency, and renal failure.
MAFLD, obesity and T2D are major contributors to the overall number of patients with COVID-19 that require hospitalization. Therapeutics that have been developed for IBD could reduce the number of patients with MAFLD/obesity/T2D that progress to severe COVID-19, and caution may have to be taken with drugs that disturb intestinal microbiota composition or abundance.