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Exercise helps patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Date:7/1/2009

Counseling patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) on how to increase physical activity leads to health benefits that are independent of changes in weight. These findings are in a new study in the July issue of Hepatology, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). The article is also available online at Wiley Interscience (www.interscience.wiley.com).

NAFLD is the most common form of chronic liver disease in developed countries. It is associated with the metabolic syndrome, which also includes obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, and is characterized by elevated liver enzymes. Currently, patients with NAFLD are encouraged to alter their lifestyles, however the focus has been on weight loss through dietary changes. The effects of increasing physical activity alone have not been thoroughly investigated.

Researchers led by Jacob George of Sydney West Area Health Service in Australia, examined the health outcomes of patients who were counseled on how to increase physical activity. They prospectively enrolled 141 patients with NAFLD from the Sydney West Area Health Service. The participants were divided into a control group, a low-intensity lifestyle intervention group, and a moderate-intensity lifestyle intervention group.

The patients in the intervention arms worked with exercise scientists who provided individually tailored counseling on how to increase both planned and incidental physical activity. Walking was the main type of exercise discussed and patients were encouraged to be active for at least 150 minutes per week.

After three months, participants in the intervention groups were nine times more likely to have increased their physical activity by an hour or more per week, compared to patients in the control group. Those who were active for more than 150 minutes
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Contact: Sean Wagner
medicalnews@wiley.com
781-388-8550
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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