Fatty infiltration of the pancreas is an enigmatic manifestation of ectopic fat deposition in obesity. Studies have shown that pancreatic lipid accumulation interferes with insulin secretion in humans. However, the prevalence of fatty pancreas and its associated factors in the general population remain unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of fatty pancreas and its association with diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and cardiometabolic risk factors in a Chinese population. This was a cross-sectional study. A total of 8097 subjects with or without fatty pancreas (n=1297 and 6800, respectively) were recruited. Each subject was assessed by using abdominal sonography to diagnose NAFLD and fatty pancreas. Clinical and metabolic parameters were compared between groups, and their associations with fatty pancreas were examined. The prevalence of fatty pancreas was 16%. The fatty pancreas group had a significantly greater proportion of subjects with diabetes (12.6% versus 5.2%) and NAFLD (67.2% versus 35.1%) than did the non-fatty pancreas group (P<0.001). In the logistic regression analysis, age (P<0.001), general or central obesity (P<0.001), diabetes (P<0.001), and NAFLD (P<0.001) were independently associated with fatty pancreas after adjustment for sex, lipid profile, alanine transaminase/aspartate transaminase ratio, hypertension, smoking, alcohol drinking, and exercise. The prevalence of fatty pancreas is high in the general population. Both diabetes and NAFLD are important associated factors of fatty pancreas, independent of age, sex, adiposity, and other cardiometabolic risk factors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine