Objective: Recent studies have shown that patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) presented significantly higher daytime and nighttime blood pressure (BP) values than those with normal liver structure. However, the role of nocturnal hypertension and non-dipping pattern in patients with NAFLD remains unclear. Aim of our study was to investigate the association of nocturnal hypertension and non-dipping pattern with NAFLD in normotensive and untreated hypertensive subjects.Design and method:
Design and Method: A total of 240 consecutive never treated individuals referred for evaluation to the Hypertension Unit of our hospital underwent 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring and liver ultrasound. The degree of nocturnal systolic BP (SBP) dipping (%) was calculated as 100[1 – nighttime SBP/daytime SBP]. Dippers were defined as subjects with nocturnal SBP fall >10% and non-dippers as patients with nocturnal SBP fall <10%. Nocturnal hypertension was defined as nighttime SBP > = 120mmHg or DBP > = 70mmHg. Patients with NAFLD were defined by the presence of hyperechogenity of liver in contrast to the cortical portion of the right kidney and either vascular blurring or deep attenuation in the liver ultrasound. Statistical analysis was performed by means of independent-samples T test, x-square and ANCOVA.Results:
Results: 58% of the study population had nocturnal hypertension and 35% were non-dippers. The percentage of patients with NAFLD was 69%. The prevalence of NAFLD did not differ significantly between non-dippers (71%) and dippers (68%). In contrast, patients with nocturnal hypertension presented significantly (p = 0.033) higher prevalence of NAFLD (75%) than patients with nocturnal normotension (61%), even after adjustment for demographic characteristics and baseline risk factors.Conclusions:
Conclusions: Nocturnal hypertension but not non-dipping pattern is associated with NAFLD in normotensive and untreated hypertensive subjects.