Research Predicts Outcomes From Fatty Liver Disease

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WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are more likely to develop end-stage liver disease and are more likely to die if they have a form of the illness called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, Swedish researchers report.

Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is a form of NAFLD that can lead to cirrhosis.

A team at University Hospital in Linkoping also concluded that most NAFLD patients will eventually develop diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, which can lead to cardiovascular problems.

The findings were published in the October issue of Hepatology.

"Given the strong association between insulin resistance and NAFLD, it is reasonable to recommend lifestyle modifications in all patients with NAFLD," the study authors wrote. "Not only do lifestyle modifications reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, intense dietary intervention may also improve liver [health] in NAFLD."

NAFLD is one of the most common causes of liver disease in the world. People with NAFLD often have elevated liver enzymes but no symptoms of the disease. Obesity is a major risk factor for NAFLD.

More information

The American Liver Foundation has more about NAFLD.

SOURCE: Hepatology, news release, October 2006