Fatty Liver may Increase Risk of Heart Disease
NALFD, non alcoholic fatty acid disease, has now become more common in patients with type 2 diabetes, arterial hypertension and obesity. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the main cause of death of patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Investigators from the Pitié-Salpetriere Hospital, Pierre and Marie Curie University concluded that NAFLD is the main risk factor for atherosclerosis and hence Cardiovascular Disease.
Risk of heart disease and mortality related to it increases in the person suffering from fatty liver disease. Researcher Raluca Pais from Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France said “Evidence indicates that the fatty and inflamed liver expresses several pro-inflammatory and procoagulant factors, as well as genes involved in accelerated atherogenesis.” Senior author Professor Vlad Ratziu, MD, PhD added “This raises the possibility that the link between NAFLD and cardiovascular mortality might not simply be mediated by shared, underlying, common risk factors, but rather that NAFLD independently contributes to increasing this risk.”
The team did a close study on around 6000 patients between 1995 and 2012. In this study they tried to access whether NALFD is the cause or incidental to atherosclerosis of carotid arteries. Researchers found that fatty liver is linked with thickness in major blood vessels in the neck using the Fatty Liver Index (FLI), validated biomarker. Researchers observed that fatty liver is associated with carotid intima- media thickness (C-IMT). C-IMT is a pre atherosclerotic lesion that predicts cardio vascular events. Fatty liver could predict C-IMT better than diabetes or dyslipidemia in 5,671 patients. Long-term follow-up in 1,872 patients after eight years added that patients with fatty liver were more likely to develop carotid plaque over time. C-IMT increased in patients with fatty liver, but did not change in those who stayed free of fatty liver.
“Clinicians should be aware of the increased cardiovascular risk in patients with NAFLD and consequently screen for conventional cardiovascular risk factors and use accepted risk calculators to make decisions regarding preventative pharmacotherapy, including statins,” said Dr. Adams and Dr. Anstee. Hence strict monitoring of cardiovascular disease is recommended when having non alcoholic fatty liver disease. The entire study is published in The Journal of Hepatology.
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