Exposure to famine in early life and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in adulthood

Ningjian Wang, Yi Chen, Zhiyuan Ning, Qin Li, Bing Han, Chunfang Zhu, Yingchao Chen, Fangzhen Xia, Boren Jiang, Bingshun Wang, Xiaojin Wang, Michael Dennis Jensen, Yingli Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


Context: Epidemiologic studies have indicated that early life nutrition influences later risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is also considered a metabolic disease. Objective: The aim was to explore the association between adult NAFLD and fetal or childhood exposure to Great Chinese Famine between 1959 and 1962 during fetal and childhood period. Design and setting: In total, 5306 subjects from the Survey on Prevalence in East China for Metabolic Diseases and Risk Factors study were divided into a fetal-exposed (1959-1962), childhood-exposed (1949-1958), adolescence/young adult-exposed (1921-1948), and nonexposed (1963-1974, reference) group. Main outcome measure: The degrees of steatosis of NAFLD were determined by ultrasonography. Results: The prevalences of NAFLD in the nonexposed (1963-1974), fetal-exposed, and childhood-exposed participants were 55.9%, 55.8%, and 55.4% in men and 33.0%, 46.3%, and 51.7% in women, respectively. Compared with those nonexposed, fetal- and childhood-exposed women but not men had a significantly higher prevalence of moderate-severe steatosis (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2218-2225
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Cite this

Wang, N., Chen, Y., Ning, Z., Li, Q., Han, B., Zhu, C., Chen, Y., Xia, F., Jiang, B., Wang, B., Wang, X., Jensen, M. D., & Lu, Y. (2016). Exposure to famine in early life and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in adulthood. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 101(5), 2218-2225. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2016-1076