Background

Obesity have been reported to increase the risk of diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, and liver cirrhosis/fibrosis. In this study, we investigated the association between weight reduction programs and the change of liver fibrosis in the middle-aged Taiwanese.

Methods

A total of 256 overweight subjects (BMI ≥24 kg/m2), aged > 35 and < 65 years old were recruited for group weight reduction program for 12 weeks in Taiwan. Anthropometric and metabolic parameters were measured. The relationships between weight change and liver fibrosis score change were analyzed. Liver fibrosis was defined according to FIB-4 score which is equal to [(Age,years)*(AST, U/L)]/[(Platelet count,10^9/L)*((ALT, U/L)^(1/2))].

Results

The intention-to-treat analysis revealed that the change in body weight, BMI and waist circumference over the 12 week treatment period was –2.3 kg, -0.9 kg/m2 and -2.5 cm (all p values <0.001, compared to baseline). The blood pressure, lipid profile, liver function (GOT and GPT), blood glucose and Fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) score were statistically improved after weight reduction.

Conclusions

Weight reduction may significantly improve the severity of liver fibrosis. Further study is necessary to clarify the linking mechanism between different weight reduction methods and liver fibrosis improvement.