University Of Tasmania

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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19: A comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 00:06 authored by Ambrish SinghAmbrish Singh, Hussain, S, Benny Eathakkattu AntonyBenny Eathakkattu Antony

Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients represent a vulnerable population that may be susceptible to more severe COVID-19. Moreover, not only the underlying NAFLD may influence the progression of COVID-19, but the COVID-19 may affect the clinical course of NAFLD as well. However, comprehensive evidence on clinical outcomes in patients with NAFLD is not well characterized.

Objectives: To systematically review and meta-analysis the evidence on clinical outcomes in NAFLD patients with COVID-19.

Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central were searched from inception through November 2020. Epidemiological studies assessing the clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients with NAFLD were included. Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) was used to assess study quality. Generic inverse variance method using RevMan was used to determine the pooled estimates using the random-effects model.

Results: Fourteen studies consisting of 1851 NAFLD patients, were included. Significant heterogeneity was observed among the studies, and studies were of moderate to high quality [mean, (range):8 (6, 8)]. For NAFLD patients, the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for the severe COVID-19 was 2.60 (95%CI:2.24-3.02; p < 0.001) (studies,n:8), aOR for admission to ICU due to COVID-19 was 1.66 (95%CI:1.26-2.20; p < 0.001) (studies,n:2), and aOR for mortality for was 1.01 (95%CI:0.65-1.58; p = 0.96) (studies,n:2).

Conclusions: An increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection and admission to ICU due to COVID-19 with no difference in mortality was observed between NAFLD and non-NAFLD patients. Future studies should include the mortality outcome to conclusively elucidate the impact of NAFLD in patients with COVID-19.


Publication title

Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome








Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Elsevier Ltd.

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2021 Diabetes India

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Socio-economic Objectives

Overweight and obesity