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Mortality risk not heightened by fatty liver disease

Mortality risk not heightened by fatty liver disease
25th November 2011

Fatty liver disease does not increase risk of death, according to a new study.

Associated with obesity and heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) does not affect survival, researchers at John Hopkins claim.

Dr Mariana Lazo, leader of the study, stated: "Physicians have considered fatty liver disease a really worrisome risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

"Our date analysis shows this doesn't appear to be the case."

However, Dr Lazo recommends further study to determine if more advanced forms of NAFLD have long-term consequences for the liver.

Researchers previously speculated over possible associations between NAFLD and carotid lesions.

Some 154 outpatients referred by general practitioners for abdominal US, and drinking less than 20 g alcohol per day, underwent carotid US for an assessment of carotid intima-media thickness (c-IMT) and carotid plaque prevalence.

It was found that hepatic steatosis is a marker of increased c-IMT and of the presence of carotid plaques in outpatients.

Following the study, a search for silent carotid lesions was recommended.

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