Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Women and Girls with Pol
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) describes a spectrum of liver damage due to excessive hepatic lipid accumulation. Recent research has demonstrated a high prevalence of NAFLD in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Strong associations independent of BMI have been found between high androgen levels characteristic of PCOS, as well as insulin resistance, and the presence of NAFLD in these women, suggesting that these factors contribute to liver injury more significantly than obesity.

Current studies indicate the occurrence of NAFLD in normal weight women with PCOS in addition to the commonly researched women who are overweight and obese. While the majority of studies address NAFLD in adult, premenopausal women (ages 25-40 years), the occurrence of NAFLD in young and adolescent women has gone largely unaddressed. Overall, research in this field lacks diversity; a majority of studies either focus on populations of white women or are missing demographic information entirely.

Future studies should include larger, more racially and ethnically inclusive populations and particular attention should be paid to how excess androgens and insulin resistance contribute to the increased risk of NAFLD seen in women with PCOS of varying weights, ages, and ethnicities.

This article reviews NAFLD in women with PCOS with subsections focused on the impact of hyperandrogenism, BMI, insulin resistance and age. Most notably, it presents the most up-to-date racially and ethnically diverse worldwide prevalence of NAFLD in women with PCOS compared to women without PCOS (51.56% vs. 29.64%).