Liver disease may raise risk of heart problems, study says

Liver disease may raise risk of heart problems: study
People with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease should undergo coronary screening, researcher says.

(HealthDay)—A new study adds to growing evidence of a link between a common liver disease associated with obesity and high risk for heart disease.

People with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease have an accumulation of fat in the liver that is not caused by . The fat can cause inflammation and scarring in the liver and progress to life-threatening illness.

The new findings "suggest that patients with coronary artery disease should be screened for liver disease, and likewise [patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease] should be evaluated for coronary artery disease," said Dr. Rajiv Chhabra, a at Saint Luke's Health System's Liver Disease Management Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Researchers looked at upper-abdominal CT scans of nearly 400 patients and found that those with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease were more likely to have . The effect of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease was stronger than other more traditional risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking, , diabetes, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome and being male.

Chhabra conducted the study with a colleague, Dr. John Helzberg. Their findings were presented at the American Gastroenterological Association's recent annual meeting.

Current treatments for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease include diet changes, exercise and increased monitoring.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common liver disorder in Western countries, and is of growing concern among doctors due to rising rates of obesity and diabetes.

"If current trends continue, the prevalence of [non-alcoholic ] is expected to increase to 40 percent of the population by 2020," Helzberg said in a Saint Luke's Health System news release.

Data and conclusions presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information: The American Liver Foundation has more about non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Related Stories

NAFLD increases the risk of early atherosclerotic lesions

date Apr 26, 2013

A study presented today at the International Liver Congress 2013 – which evaluated the relationship between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), early predictors of atherosclerosis and the 10-year Framingham risk ...

Recommended for you

'Ebola will return', veteran scientist warns

date 4 hours ago

Congolese expert Jean-Jacques Muyembe may be little known to the public, but he has been one of the world's top Ebola investigators since the first epidemic erupted in central Africa in 1976.

Score IDs patients with upper extremity DVT at low risk

date 19 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For patients with upper-extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT), six easily available factors can be used to create a score that identifies those at low risk of adverse events during the first ...

Combined drug treatment combats kidney disease

date May 29, 2015

A recent discovery by drug researchers whereby coupling specific cell membrane receptors has altered kidney cell function has triggered a re-think of how to treat chronic kidney disease (CKD) more effectively.

Active substance targeting dreaded hospital germs

date May 29, 2015

In the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), scientists have conducted clinical studies on an active substance against the dreaded hospital pathogen Staphylococcus aureus: a highly effective protein from bacteriophages ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.