Many diabetics don't know they have serious liver disease
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common chronic liver disease in the Western world. NAFLD is a frequent finding in patients with type 2 diabetes, but the exact prevalence of NAFLD, as well as whether patients with diabetes should be screened for it, remain uncertain.
Using non-invasive imaging techniques to estimate liver fat and liver stiffness in 100 diabetics, investigators found the prevalence of NAFLD and advanced fibrosis to be 65% and 7%, respectively.
The researchers note that the high prevalence of NAFLD and advanced fibrosis in diabetics remains unrecognized and overlooked in the primary care setting.
"Screening asymptomatic diabetics could help prevent advanced liver damage and reduce liver-related complications and deaths," said Dr. Rohit Loomba, senior author of the Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics study.