NAFLD and type 2 diabetes are closely associated phenomena. In contrast to the knowledge about NAFLD and type 2 diabetes, there are limited and inconsistent data on NAFLD prevalence in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes show major pathophysiological differences but share certain similarities as well. The aim of the study by M. de Vries et al. (Department of Internal Medicine, Diabetology and Vascular Medicine, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands) was to estimate the prevalence of NAFLD in patients with type 1 diabetes.
The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis on the prevalence of NAFLD and distribution of its different stages in patients with type 1 diabetes. Twenty studies between 2009 and 2019 were included (n=3901).
Pooled NAFLD prevalence was 19.3%, increasing to 22.0% in adults only. Pooled prevalence of ultrasound studies was high (27.1%), compared to studies using magnetic resonance imaging (8.6%), liver biopsy (19.3%), or transient elastography (2.3%).
In conclusion, NAFLD prevalence in patients with type 1 diabetes is considerable and is highly dependent on the specific diagnostic modality and NAFLD definition used.