OBJECTIVE: It is still controversial if increased hepatic fat independently contributes to cardiovascular risk. We aimed to assess the association between hepatic fat quantified by MRI and various subclinical vascular disease parameters. DESIGN: We included two cross-sectional investigations embedded in two independent population-based studies (Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP): n=1341; Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA): n=386). The participants underwent a whole-body MRI examination. Hepatic fat content was quantified by proton-density fat fraction (PDFF). Aortic diameters in both studies and carotid plaque-related parameters in KORA were measured with MRI. In SHIP, carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) and plaque were assessed by ultrasound. We used (ordered) logistic or linear regression to assess associations between hepatic fat and subclinical vascular disease. RESULTS: The prevalence of fatty liver disease (FLD) (PDFF >5.6%) was 35% in SHIP and 43% in KORA. In SHIP, hepatic fat was positively associated with ascending (β, 95% CI 0.06 (0.04 to 0.08)), descending (0.05 (0.04 to 0.07)) and infrarenal (0.02 (0.01 to 0.03)) aortic diameters, as well as with higher odds of plaque presence (OR, 95% CI 1.22 (1.05 to 1.42)) and greater cIMT (β, 95% CI 0.01 (0.004 to 0.02)) in the age-adjusted and sex-adjusted model. However, further adjustment for additional cardiometabolic risk factors, particularly body mass index, attenuated these associations. In KORA, no significant associations were found. CONCLUSIONS: The relation between hepatic fat and subclinical vascular disease was not independent of overall adiposity. Given the close relation of FLD with cardiometabolic risk factors, people with FLD should still be prioritised for cardiovascular disease screening.