The association of serum total bile acid with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in Chinese adults: a cross sectional study

Zhang, Ziyu; Dai, Wen; Weng, Shuwei; Luo, Mengdie; Fu, Jiahao; Zadroga, John A.; Spolitu, Stefano; Peng, Daoquan

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is currently the major cause of chronic liver disease globally. Bile acids (BAs) have emerged as relevant signaling molecules that are associated with NAFLD development. This study was aimed to examine the association of serum total bile acids (TBAs) with NAFLD in a large population of Chinese subjects.

This cross sectional study recruited 152,336 participants from the Second Xiangya Hospital, China. NAFLD was diagnosed based on the presence of hepatic steatosis on ultrasonography, without significant alcohol consumption and other known causes for chronic liver disease. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to test for the association of serum TBAs with NAFLD, adjusting for conventional risk factors of NAFLD.

A total of 27.4% of the participants had NAFLD. Patients with NAFLD had slightly higher TBA levels than those without, 3.4 vs. 3.0 μmol/L (p < 0.001). However, TBA levels were not associated with NAFLD in the multivariate logistic regression model, which adjusted for age, gender and other acknowledged risk factors for NAFLD (OR = 1.00. 95% CI: 1.00–1.00, p = 0.797).

We found that the serum TBA levels were not associated with NAFLD. Future studies in a large population, focusing on serum BA composition may improve the understating of the role of BAs in NAFLD.

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Lipids in Health and Disease

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Published Here
September 22, 2023


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Bile acid, Farnesoid X receptor, Takeda G-protein-coupled receptor 5, Type 2 diabetes, Ziyu Zhang and Wen Dai contributed equally to this work and were listed co-first authors.