Organized by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).


When: 7-11 November 2014


Where: John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts


Attendees from OWL: Dr. Pablo Ortiz and Dr. Rebeca Mayo


Booth #720


Poster title:  Prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and its association with aging.(Poster #801) 


Authors: Ainara Cano2, Cristina Alonso2, Itziar Mincholé2, David Balgoma2, Pablo Ortiz2, Maria L. Martinez-Chantar1,4, Shelly C. Lu3, Jose M. Mato1,4


1 Metabolomics, CIC bioGUNE, Derio, Spain;

2 OWL Metabolomics, Derio, Spain;

3 Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.

4 CIBERehd, Derio, Spain



Aging entails dramatic alterations in the liver capacity, which tends to accumulate lipids. In the last ten years, the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has increased considerably and now is thought to affect 30% of the general population with even higher rates in aged people. Metabolomics, the study of compounds smaller than 1,500 Da is applied to unravel the metabolic condition of an organism in a specific situation(1). Recently, we described an aging-associated lipidomic signature in mice(2). In addition, patients with diverse body mass index (BMI) present serum distinctive metabolomic signatures of steatosis and NASH(3). This finding has made it possible to obtain a set of BMI-dependent lipid biomarkers that differentiate between NASH and steatosis with areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) of 0.94, reaching values of 0.99 for the cohort with BMI<30 kg/m2(4). Here, we have used this diagnostic test to determine the incidence of steatosis and NASH in non-obese men and women during normal aging. Healthy male and female volunteers (n=262), with BMI<30 kg/m2 were classified according to their age into four cohorts: 20-30 (n=44), 30-40 (n=76), 40-50 (n=78), and 50-60 (n=64) years of age. Inclusion criteria involved normal blood pressure and serum biochemistry (ALT, AST, glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol), moderate alcohol intake, and not to be medicated for diabetes, hypertension or hyperlipidemia. Chloroform/methanol serum extracts were analyzed by reverse ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS). Then, volunteers were diagnosed as normal liver, steatosis or NASH using the metabolomic diagnostic test. Sixteen percent of volunteers between 20-30 years of age where diagnosed of steatosis, whereas 5% had NASH. These percentages remained similar between 30-40 years of age. However, in the following decade the percentage of  individuals with steatosis doubled (33%) whereas the prevalence of NASH remained constant (7%). This raise in NAFLD was mainly due to an increased incidence of steatosis in men. Between 50-60 years of age the total prevalence of steatosis increased to 45% whereas that of NASH remained constant (5%) and the differences between women and men leveled off. Conclusion: In 262 individuals from 20-60 years of age with BMI<30 kg/m2, non-diabetic, with normal blood pressure and biochemistry, the prevalence of steatosis, defined by serum metabolomic profiling, increased with age from 16% to 45% whereas the incidence of NASH remained around 5%. In men, the incidence of NAFLD started to increase between 40-50 years of age whereas in women it started a decade later.


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