Assessment of Genetic Aspects of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver and Premature Cardiovascular Events

  • 1 Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
  • 2 Hoveizeh Cohort Study, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.
  • 3 Digestive Disease Research Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Recent evidence has demonstrated a strong interplay and multifaceted relationship between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD is the major cause of death in patients with NAFLD. NAFLD also has strong associations with diabetes and metabolic syndrome. In this comprehensive review, we aimed to overview the primary environmental and genetic risk factors of NAFLD, and CVD and also focus on the genetic aspects of these two disorders. NAFLD and CVD are both heterogeneous diseases with common genetic and molecular pathways. We have searched for the latest published articles regarding this matter and tried to provide an overview of recent insights into the genetic aspects of NAFLD and CVD. The common genetic and molecular pathways involved in NAFLD and CVD are insulin resistance (IR), subclinical inflammation, oxidative stress, and atherogenic dyslipidemia. According to an investigation, the exact associations between genomic characteristics of NAFLD and CVD and casual relationships are not fully determined. Different gene polymorphisms have been identified as the genetic components of the NAFLDCVD association. Some of the most documented ones of these gene polymorphisms are patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing protein 3 (PNPLA3), transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 (TM6SF2), hydroxysteroid 17-beta dehydrogenase 13 (HSD17B13), adiponectin-encoding gene (ADIPOQ), apolipoprotein C3 (APOC3), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR), leptin receptor (LEPR), sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBP), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTTP), manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), membrane-bound O-acyltransferase domain-containing 7 (MBOAT7), and mutation in DYRK1B that substitutes cysteine for arginine at position 102 in kinase-like domain. Further cohort studies with a significant sample size using advanced genomic assessments and next-generation sequencing techniques are needed to shed more light on genetic associations between NAFLD and CVD.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Gene polymorphism; Genetic aspect; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

How to Cite

Saki S, Saki N, Poustchi H, Malekzadeh R. Assessment of Genetic Aspects of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver and Premature Cardiovascular Events. Middle East J Dig Dis. 2020 Apr;12(2):65-88. doi: 10.34172/mejdd.2020.166. PMID: 32626560; PMCID: PMC7320986.