Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

European Journal of Nutrition

PubMed ID





School of Medical and Health Sciences




Open Access funded by CAUL / University of Western Australia / Curtin University / Telethon Kids Institute / Women and Infants Research Foundation / Edith Cowan University / Murdoch University / The University of Notre Dame Australia / Raine / Medical Research Foundation / National Health and Medical Research Council (Programme grants 003209, 353514; project grants 211912, 403981, 1021105, 1022134, 1027449, 1044840, 1021855)

Grant Number

NHMRC Numbers : 003209, 353514, 211912, 403981, 1021105, 1022134, 1027449, 1044840, 1021855


Wan, F., Pan, F., Ayonrinde, O., Adams, L. A., Mori, T. A., Beilin, L. J., ... & Oddy, W. H. (2022). Prospective dietary polyunsaturated fatty acid intake is associated with trajectories of fatty liver disease: An 8 year follow-up study from adolescence to young adulthood. European Journal of Nutrition, 1-14. Advance online publication.


Background and aim:

Dietary fat intake has long been associated with fatty liver. Our study aimed to determine the effect of dietary fats on longitudinal fatty liver index (FLI) trajectories from adolescence to young adulthood.


Nine hundred eighty-five participants in the Raine Study, Perth, Western Australia, Australia, had cross-sectional assessments at ages 14, 17, 20 and 22 years, during which anthropometric measurements and blood tests were obtained. FLI trajectories were derived from the longitudinal FLI results. Dietary fat intake was measured with a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire at 14 years and log multinominal regression analyses were used to estimate relative risks.


Three FLI trajectories were identified and labelled as stable-low (79.1%, N = 782), low-to-high (13.9%, N = 132), and stable-high (7%, N = 71). The low-to-high group associated with an increased intake of the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids EPA, DPA and DHA (RR 1.27, 95% CI 1.10–1.48) relative to the stable-low group. Compared to the stable-low group, omega-6 and the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the stable-high group were associated with an increased relative risk of 1.34 (95% CI 1.02–1.76) and 1.10 (95% CI 1.03–1.16), respectively.


For those at high risk of fatty liver in early adolescence, high omega-6 fatty acid intake and a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids are associated with increased risk of fatty liver. There should be caution in assuming these associations are causal due to possible undetected and underestimated confounding factors.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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