Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

More evidence that NAFLD is an independent cardiovascular risk factor

10.04.2014

Two new studies presented today at the International Liver CongressTM 2014 have provided more evidence to clarify the role of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as an independent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

In the first long-term study , in patients at high CVD risk, NAFLD was shown to contribute to the progression of early atherosclerosis independently of traditional CVD risk factors. In a second long-term study , NAFLD was confirmed as a significant long-term risk factor for the development of diabetes mellitus (DM). Importantly, those patients showing signs of an improvement in the fatty appearance of their liver in response to treatment then had a reduced risk of going on to develop diabetes.

NAFLD describes a range of conditions where there is a build-up of fat in the liver cells in people who do not drink alcohol excessively. It is rapidly becoming the most common liver disease worldwide, particularly so in the Western world with an estimated prevalence of 20 – 30%. In many cases, NAFLD is linked to being obese or overweight.

Presenting the results of these two studies, EASL's Educational Councillor Professor Jean-Francois Dufour of the University Clinic for Visceral Surgery and Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland said: "We now have a strong body of evidence that NAFLD may pose a CVD risk above and beyond that conferred by traditional CVD risk factors, such as dyslipidemia, diabetes and smoking. This means that healthcare providers managing patients with NAFLD should take this factor into account in the CVD risk stratification, although the best way to implement this remains to be defined," he added.

NAFLD an early independent predictor of carotid atherosclerotic disease

In a long-term study, patients with NAFLD had a higher prevalence of carotid plaques (44 vs. 37%; p< 0.001), a higher carotid intima-media thickness (C-IMT) (0.64±0.14 vs. 0.61±0.13; p< 0.001), and a higher Framingham score, which measured their 10-year CVD risk (15±9% vs. 8±7%; p< 0.001).

The presence of NAFLD also predicted whether that patient had thickening of the carotid intima-media (beta=0.037; p=0.005), and evidence of early carotid plaques (OR=1.21; 95%CI: 1.03-1.42; p=0.02), independently of the patients' age, sex, BMI, hypertension and tobacco use.

C-IMT significantly increased in those patients who developed signs of NAFLD (0.60±0.13 to 0.64±0.14; p=0.01). Using a Cox model, NAFLD at baseline predicted the occurrence of carotid plaques (OR=1.27; 95%CI: 1.009-1.613; p< 0.05), independently of age, sex, diabetes and high BP.

"Whether NAFLD is incidentally or causally associated to early carotid atherosclerosis has previously been the subject of much debate," said Professor Dufour. "While there are case-control studies that have demonstrated a significant and independent relationship between NAFLD and carotid atherosclerotic disease, up until now, long-term follow-up data have been missing."

Patients recruited to this study had more than two CVD risk factors without previous CVD events, known liver disease, and drinking < 50g of alcohol/day. C-IMT was measured using carotid ultrasonography with carotid plaques defined as C-IMT>1mm at the carotid bifurcation. Results were validated in a long-term follow-up cohort of patients with two C-IMT measurements at >1-year interval.

The Fatty Liver Index (FLI), a surrogate marker of hepatic steatosis when ≥60 years old, and the Framingham cardiovascular risk score (FRS) were calculated.

5,671 patients underwent at least one C-IMT measurement: 52% males; mean age 52±11years; mean BMI = 26.1±4.7; 33% NAFLD; 39% CP, mean C-IMT 0.62±0.13mm. 1,872 patients had 2 C-IMT measurements.

During the 8±4 year follow-up, NAFLD occurred in 12% and carotid plaques in 22% of the patients.

Improvement of NAFLD is associated with a reduced risk of developing DM

A 10-year longitudinal study has confirmed that NAFLD is a significant risk factor for the development of diabetes, and improvement of NAFLD through treatment is associated with a reduced risk of developing diabetes (in submission).

In this study of 3,074 Japanese patients, 117 participants (16.1%) in the NAFLD group developed diabetes during a 10 year follow-up period, compared to only 72 participants (3.1%) in the non-NAFLD group (p< 0.001). The multivariate odds ratio was 2.82 (95% confidence interval: 1.91-4.15) in the NAFLD group compared to the non-NAFLD group.

Moreover, 7 participants (6.4%) in the improved group developed diabetes compared to 110 participants (17.8%) in the non-improved group. In the improved group, the multivariate odds ratio was 0.30 (95% CI: 0.13-0.66), in comparison to the non-improved group.

"Evidence from previous longitudinal studies has demonstrated a clear link between NAFLD and the development of DM," said Professor Dufour. "However, this is the first study to show that DM can be prevented if NAFLD is improved," he explained.

"A multidisciplinary approach is therefore required in the treatment of NAFLD patients, taking into account the presence of NAFLD as a critical part of diabetes prevention and care. New clinical trials to investigate the beneficial effects of anti-diabetes drugs on NAFLD histology, and the potential impact of anti-diabetes drugs on diabetes incidence and cardiovascular risk in non-diabetic patients with early-stage NAFLD are now underway," Professor Dufour concluded.

8,070 participants who had a health check twice between 2000 and 2012 with 10 years between each check were enrolled into this study. An inclusion criterion included having had abdominal ultrasounds during the first and second visits. Exclusion criteria included alcohol use ≧20g/day, positive HBs antigen, positive HCV antibody, and diabetes mellitus at baseline.

The 3,074 eligible participants were divided into the NAFLD group (n=728) and non-NAFLD group (n=2,346), according to ultrasonography-detected fatty liver.

The NAFLD group was then further categorised into the improved group (n=110) and non-improved group (n=618), based on fatty liver disappearance at the second health check. Multivariate odds ratios for the development of DM were estimated by a logistic regression model.

###

Disclaimer: the data referenced in this release is based on the submitted abstracts. More recent data may be presented at the International Liver Congress™ 2014.

Notes to Editors

About EASL

EASL is the leading European scientific society involved in promoting research and education in hepatology. EASL attracts the foremost hepatology experts and has an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education and promoting changes in European liver policy.

EASL's main focus on education and research is delivered through numerous events and initiatives, including:

  • The International Liver CongressTM which is the main scientific and professional event in hepatology worldwide
  • Meetings including Monothematic and Special conferences, Post Graduate courses and other endorsed meetings that take place throughout the year
  • Clinical and Basic Schools of Hepatology, a series of events covering different aspects in the field of Hepatology
  • Journal of Hepatology published monthly
  • Organisation of a Mentorship program and Masterclass to support young investigators starting out on their career path
  • Participation in a number of policy initiatives at European level

About The International Liver CongressTM 2014

The International Liver Congress™ 2014, the 49th annual meeting of the European Association for the study of the Liver, is being held at ExCel London from April 9 – 13, 2014. The congress annually attracts in excess of 9000 clinicians and scientists from around the world and provides an opportunity to hear the latest research, perspectives and treatments of liver disease from principal experts in the field.

For further information on the studies, or to request an interview, please do not hesitate to contact the EASL Press Office on:
Email: easlpressoffice@cohnwolfe.com

Helena Symeou +44 7976 562 430
Courtney Lock +44 7894 386 422

Courtney Lock | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: CVD EASL NAFLD alcohol carotid evidence factor independently liver long-term participants

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>