Hepatic steatosis in patients with schizophrenia: a clinical cross-sectional study

Anna Sofie Kaestel Aarøe, Katrine Odgaard Maeng, Ragnhild Leifsdottir Jacobsen, Svend Eggert Jensen, Claus Graff, Christoffer Polcwiartek, Esben Bolvig Mark, Anja Borgen Dalsgaard, Camilla Tranekaer Hostrup, Pernille Veiss-Pedersen, Jens Brøndum Frøkjaer, Jørgen Aagaard, René Ernst Nielsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: With hepatic steatosis (HS) being an established risk factor for CVD in the general population, it may also be a predictor of CVD in patients with schizophrenia. The aim of the present study was to investigate if time since schizophrenia diagnosis, body mass index (BMI), sex, metabolic syndrome, alcohol use, smoking, alanine transaminase (ALT), and body fat percentage (as measured by bioelectrical impedance) were associated with HS, determined by computed tomography (CT), in a population of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.

METHODS: Moderate to severe HS (40 CT Hounsfield units as threshold) was determined utilizing non-contrast enhanced CT. The association between the explanatory variables and outcome of HS was assessed using multivariable logistic regression.

RESULTS: In the present study, 145 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (mean age 42.2 years (SD ± 13.8)) were included, with 88 (60.7%) being male. On average, patients had been diagnosed for 14.8 (SD ± 10.7) years. A total of 31 (21.4%) patients had HS as determined by CT. The presence of HS was associated with ALT (OR 1.06, 95% CI (1.02-1.10) per 1 U/L increase), and the presence of metabolic syndrome (OR 62.89, 95% CI (2.03-1949.55)). The presence of HS was not associated with BMI, body fat percentage or time since diagnosis in the multivariable analysis.

CONCLUSION: Higher ALT and the presence of metabolic syndrome were associated with HS in patients with schizophrenia utilizing multivariable analysis. The findings suggest that risk factors for HS are similar in both the general population and in patients with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)114-119
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Fatty liver disease
  • cardiovascular disease
  • computed tomography
  • hepatic steatosis
  • schizophrenia


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