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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease ups risk of diabetes mellitus

11 Apr 2018

In nonobese adults, the presence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) signals a higher risk for eventual diabetes mellitus (DM) regardless of metabolic syndrome, a recent study has shown.

The study included 2,920 adults who self-referred for a routine health check-up from January to December 2000. Ultrasonography was performed to determine NAFLD status, and Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to evaluate the risk of hypertension and DM incidence according to participant phenotypes.

Over a median follow-up of 5.1 years, 193 participants developed DM, corresponding to a 6.9-percent incidence rate. Both NAFLD patients who were obese (hazard ratio [HR], 2.89; 95 percent CI, 1.73–4.83; p<0.001) and nonobese (HR, 2.69; 1.72–4.20; p<0.001) had significantly elevated risks of DM.

In addition, DM was significantly more likely in obese participants without NAFLD (HR, 1.92; 1.10–3.36; p=0.022).

In 2,757 participants, 445 developed hypertension over the same follow-up period, resulting in an incidence rate of 16.1 percent. Fully adjusted analysis showed that obese participants with NAFLD had a significantly higher risk of hypertension than their nonobese, non-NAFLD counterparts (HR, 1.76; 1.27–2.44; p=0.001).

The findings of the present study show that NAFLD is a particularly sensitive indicator of potential insulin resistance, said researchers, noting that patients with the condition may benefit from regular screening.

“Screening may provide the opportunity to address insulin resistance early, with lifestyle modification and medical interventions to reduce the risk of progression to DM,” they added.

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Most Read Articles
28 Dec 2017
Varenicline, while effective for smoking cessation, appears to significantly elevate the risk of cardiovascular hospitalization and emergency department visits, particularly for new users, a recent study shows.
26 Jan 2018
In children, a short duration of sleep appears to be a significant risk factor for elevated cardiometabolic risk, suggesting that parents need to be mindful of their children’s sleep hygiene, a recent Spanish study has shown.
21 Dec 2017
Physicians’ practice patterns in managing hypertension, and their awareness of blood pressure variability, were reported in a recent study in Singapore. We discussed some of the clinical practice gaps identified by this study with author, A/Prof. Teo Boon Wee.
21 Dec 2017
Results from the ASCOT-LLA study suggest that patient reports of muscle-related adverse events were more common when patients knew they were being treated with a statin. We discussed this phenomenon, known as the ‘nocebo effect’, with senior investigator, Prof. Peter Sever.