Fatty Liver (cont.)
Bhupinder Anand, MD
In this Article
What is the relationship between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease?
As mentioned previously, cardiovascular disease, especially heart attacks and strokes, is commonly seen in patients with fatty liver. In fact, cardiovascular causes of death occur more frequently than liver-related deaths. Whereas the components of the metabolic syndrome are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, NAFLD has been found to be a risk factor that is independent of the metabolic syndrome, increasing the risk two-fold. Since the means of treating NAFLD are limited, it is important that the manifestations of the metabolic syndrome - obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia (abnormalities of fats or lipids in the blood) - should be aggressively treated.
What diseases are associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease?
The diseases of the metabolic syndrome that are associated with NAFLD have already been discussed. Other associations exist including fatty pancreas, hypothyroidism, polyps of the colon, elevated blood uric acid, vitamin D deficiency, polycystic ovaries, and obstructive sleep apnea. For example, 50% of patients with NAFLD have obstructive sleep apnea, and more than 90% of patients with obstructive sleep apnea have NAFLD. Associations do not prove causation, and in most cases it is not clear why the associations exist--whether the associations are due to a causal relationship or they reflect an underlying common cause.
Reviewed by Bhupinder Anand, MD on 3/14/2013
Viewers share their comments
Fatty Liver - Symptoms Question: The symptoms of fatty liver can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?
Fatty Liver - Diet Question: What changes have you made to your diet since being diagnosed with a fatty liver?
Fatty Liver - Treatment and Medications Question: What kinds of treatment, including medication, have you been given for your fatty liver?