The association between physical activity and liver fat after five years of follow-up in a primary prevention multi-ethnic cohort

I. A. Lesser, T. Dick, D. Gasevic, D. C. Mackey, J. A. Leipsic, S. A. Lear

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Objective: Excess liver fat (LF) is associated with dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. Evidence suggests that there is an independent relationship between physical activity (PA) and LF although little is known of the role of PA intensity in reducing LF. The purpose was to evaluate whether meeting PA guidelines, the amount of PA and the intensity of PA at baseline were associated with LF after five-years. Methods: Men and women (n = 478) living in Vancouver, Canada of Aboriginal, Chinese, European or South Asian background completed baseline measurements in 2004-2005. Liver fat was assessed using CT scans at 5-year follow-up, and PA using a PA questionnaire at baseline as well as demographics and anthropometry.Results: In separate unadjusted models, meeting moderate-vigorous PA (MVPA) guidelines (p = 0.009), vigorous PA (p = 0.002) and MVPA (p = 0.017) but not moderate PA (p = 0.068) was predictive of LF at five years (p = 0.009). In multiple linear regression models, when adjusted for covariates, meeting MVPA guidelines and MVPA with LF at five years was no longer significant (p. >. 0.05) while vigorous PA remained significant (p = 0.021).Conclusion: Meeting PA guidelines through MVPA may not be adequate to prevent the accumulation of LF and PA guidelines may require revision. Vigorous PA should be encouraged to prevent LF accumulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-203
Number of pages5
JournalPreventive Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Activity guidelines
  • Ectopic fat
  • Exercise
  • Hepatic fat
  • Intensity

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