Background: Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is defined as the presence of ≥5% of hepatic steatosis (HS) in the absence of other liver disorders, such as chronic viral or autoimmune hepatitis, steatosis induced by drugs, significant alcohol consumption, hemochromatosis, or Wilson’s disease. There is limited literature describing national prevalence and epidemiological characteristics of NAFLD in the US population. Primary outcome of the study was to identify the prevalence and epidemiological characteristics of NAFLD amongst participants. Secondary outcome was to evaluate concurrent prevalence and prevalence odds of hypertension (HTN) and cardiovascular disorders (CVDs: angina or myocardial infarction) amongst NAFLD.

Methods: A retrospective survey study was performed using NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) database from 2015 to 2018. Population with NAFLD was identified using inclusion and exclusion criteria mentioned above. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to find out prevalence and epidemiology of NAFLD and association of hypertension and CVDs with NAFLD.

Results: Of total 275968, 717 (0.26%) was identified with NAFLD. NAFLD was more prevalent in older (median: 62 years), male, Mexican American and other Hispanic, and median household income >$100,000. People with NAFLD had an early onset of CVDs (47 vs 60 years) with higher prevalence of CVDs (15.90% vs 4.64%) and higher prevalence of HTN (85.98% vs 80.39%) in comparison to those without NAFLD. People with NAFLD had a significantly higher association of having CVDs (prevalence odds: 9.78 [95%CI: 9.76-9.80]) and hypertension (1.20 [1.12-1.20]).

Conclusions: This study summarizes the epidemiological characteristics of NAFLD and its association with CVDs in the US population. Early identification and risk stratification mitigate the burden of CVDs amongst the NAFLD population.