Testosterone plays a role in predisposing individuals to cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, but its effects differ between men and women. We investigated the association between serum total testosterone and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in adults in the US.A cross-sectional analysis of data from participants in the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was performed. Subjects with significant alcohol consumption and those with viral hepatitis were excluded. We used the highest sex-specific quartiles of serum total testosterone as references. Suspected non-alcoholic fatty liver disease was diagnosed when serum alanine aminotransferase was >30 IU/L for men and >19 IU/L for women.Of the 4758 subjects (49.4% men), the prevalence of suspected non-alcoholic fatty liver disease was inversely correlated with the sex-specific quartiles of testosterone in men and women. In a multivariate model, low total testosterone levels were associated with progressively higher odds of suspected non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in men after adjusting for age, obesity and other metabolic risk factors (P values for trends <.01). When the women were divided into 2 groups according to menopausal status, a significant correlation was observed only in the post-menopausal women (P values for trends <.01). The adjusted odds ratios for suspected non-alcoholic fatty liver disease were 1.72-1.99 in men and 2.15-2.26 in post-menopausal women (lowest quartile vs highest quartile).In this nationally representative sample of adults in the US, low total testosterone levels were associated with suspected non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in men and post-menopausal women independent of known risk factors.
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