Department of Internal Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA.
CareMessage, San Francisco, CA, USA.
BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is emerging as the most common liverdisease. The only effective treatment is 7%-10% weight loss. Mobile technology is increasingly used in weight management. This study was performed to evaluate the effects of text messaging intervention on weight loss in patients with NAFLD.
Thirty well-defined NAFLD patients (mean age 52 years, 67% females, mean BMI 38) were randomized 1:1 to control group: counselling on healthy diet and exercise, or intervention group: text messages in addition to healthy life style counselling. NAFLD text messaging program sent weekly messages for 22 weeks on healthy life style education. Primary outcome was change in weight. Secondary outcomes were changes in liver enzymes and lipid profile.
Intervention group lost an average of 6.9 lbs. (P = .03) compared to gain of 1.8 lbs. in the control group (P = .45). Intervention group also showed a decrease in ALT level (-12.5 IU/L, P = .035) and improvement in serum triglycerides (-28 mg/dL, P = .048). There were no changes in the control group on serum ALT level (-6.1 IU/L, P = .46) and on serum triglycerides (-20.3 mg/dL P = .27). Using one-way analysis of variance, change in outcomes in intervention group compared to control group was significant for weight (P = .02) and BMI (P = .02).
Text messaging on healthy life style is associated with reduction in weight in NAFLD patients. Larger studies are suggested to examine benefits on liver histology, and assess long-term impact of this approach in patients with NAFLD.