1 Nutrition and Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK; Southampton National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospital Southampton, UK. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University and Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata of Verona, Verona, Italy. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are worldwide public health problems, affecting up to 25-30% (NAFLD), and up to 10-15% (CKD) of the general population. Recently, it has also been established that there is a strong association between NAFLD and CKD, regardless of the presence of potential confounding diseases such as obesity, hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Since NAFLD and CKD are both common diseases that often occur alongside other metabolic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome, elucidating the relative impact of NAFLD on the risk of incident CKD presents a substantial challenge for investigators working in this research field. A growing body of epidemiological evidence suggests that NAFLD is an independent risk factor for CKD and recent evidence also suggests that associated factors such as metabolic syndrome, dysbiosis, unhealthy diets, platelet activation and processes associated with ageing could also contribute mechanisms linking NAFLD and CKD. This narrative review provides an overview of the literature on: a) the evidence for an association and causal link between NAFLD and CKD and b) the underlying mechanisms by which NAFLD (and factors strongly linked with NAFLD) may increase the risk of developing CKD.