Monday, June 11, 2012

NAFLD is associated with cardiovascular Disease in the US Population

NAFLD is associated with cardiovascular Disease in the US Population

June's issue of the Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology reports an independent association between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease in the US population.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have common metabolic risk factors.

Despite reports from clinical studies, the association between NAFLD, cardiovascular disease, and cardiovascular mortality are not clear at the population level.

Drs Maria Stepanova and Zobair Younossi and colleagues from Virginia, USA analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III, conducted from 1988 to 1994, and compared hepatic ultrasound and mortality data.

Participants were classified into those with NAFLD, and those without.

The prevalence of CVD was compared between subjects with and without NAFLD.

The team made additional comparisons between NAFLD patients who had increased levels of liver enzymes and those who had normal levels.

Independent predictors of CVD and cardiovascular mortality also were studied.

During the follow-up period, the research team found that 12% of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III participants died.

The research team found that cardiovascular mortality was 4%.

Regardless of whether levels of liver enzymes were increased or not, individuals with NAFLD were older, predominantly male, more likely to be Hispanic, and less likely to be African American than controls.

The team found that patients also had a higher prevalence of all components of metabolic syndrome and CVD.

Regardless of levels of liver enzymes, the researchers observed that NAFLD was associated independently with CVD, after adjusting for major demographic, clinical, and metabolic confounders.

The team noted that the independent association of NAFLD with cardiovascular mortality was not statistically significant.

Dr Stepanova's team concludes, "NAFLD is associated independently with an increased risk of CVD."

"However, NAFLD did not increase cardiovascular mortality over a 14-year period."

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2012: 10(6): 646-650
11 June 2012

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