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NAFLD AND NASH Linked to Metabolic Syndrome and Cardiovascular Disease
Date:4/23/2008

Patients With Fatty Liver are at Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Prevalence Estimates Vary Widely, and Approach 25% Among Adults Risk Factors for Fatty Liver Include Overweight, Type 2 Diabetes, and

Sedentary Lifestyle

MILAN, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Data presented at today's sessions of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) further confirm that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its most severe form, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), are associated with the metabolic syndrome and pose an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

NAFLD and NASH are significant health problems that affect millions of people worldwide, especially in Western countries. NAFLD is a fatty accumulation in the liver that does not result from excessive use of alcohol. When this condition progresses, and is associated with inflammation and liver damage, it is then called NASH, which is thought to occur in 15% to 25% of cases of NAFLD. NASH is clearly associated with the risk of developing liver cirrhosis, and its complications, including hepatocellular carcinoma, the most frequent primary tumour of the liver. NASH-related cirrhosis is an increasingly occurring indication for liver transplantation.

In turn, the metabolic syndrome is a combination of risk factors, including high blood lipids, abdominal obesity, and a tendency to diabetes. The association between NAFLD, NASH, and the metabolic syndrome is a great cause for concern because people with the metabolic syndrome are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.

According to Dr. Fabio Marra, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Florence, "When I see a patient with a fatty liver, I have to consider all the other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and try to intervene aggressively to limit the effects of those other facto
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SOURCE EASL - European Association for the Study of the Liver
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