Journal of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Medical Science) ›› 2023, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (1): 125-131.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8115.2023.01.017

• Review • Previous Articles    

Research progress in the correlation and treatment of menopause and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in women

LIU Weiwei(), WANG Long()   

  1. Department of Gastroenterology, Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200233, China
  • Received:2022-05-29 Accepted:2022-09-28 Online:2022-12-19 Published:2022-12-19
  • Contact: WANG Long;
  • Supported by:
    Scientific Foundation of Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine(X-hospital-2258)


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic non-communicable disease. It is a metabolic syndrome (MS) in the liver. Menopause is a physiological phenomenon of women due to the decline of ovarian function, which is characterized by the deterioration of hypothalamic-pituitary function. Clinical and epidemiological studies have shown that the incidence trend of NAFLD has gender differences and is related to metabolic parameters such as glucose, lipids, and blood uric acid. The incidence of NAFLD in premenopausal women is lower than that in males, while the incidence of NAFLD in postmenopausal women gradually increases to the same as that in males. The mechanism may be mainly related to the changes of sex hormones in postmenopausal women (mainly the decrease of estrogen). The changes of sex hormones such as the decreased levels of estrogen and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and the relatively increased level of androgen can increase the incidence of MS components such as abdominal obesity, abnormal blood lipid metabolism and insulin resistance (IR), making menopause an important independent risk factor for NAFLD in women. Estrogen, androgen receptor antagonists and phytoestrogens can improve hepatic steatosis and IR through many ways, reduce the severity of NAFLD and delay its progression to liver fibrosis, which have certain therapeutic significance for postmenopausal women with NAFLD, but also have some limitations. This paper reviews the research progress in the relationship between menopause and NAFLD in recent years, so as to provide ideas and reference for the prevention and treatment of NAFLD in postmenopausal women.

Key words: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), menopause, insulin resistance (IR), metabolic syndrome (MS), phytoestrogen

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