You Are at an Increased Risk of Suffering from Heart Ailments If Diagnosed with Fatty Liver Disease: Study - medtigo



You Are at an Increased Risk of Suffering from Heart Ailments If Diagnosed with Fatty Liver Disease: Study

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According to new research shared by US News, an abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver that is not caused by alcohol may significantly raise the risk of heart failure.  

NAFLD, or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, affects almost one in four persons in the United States. Scientists have already recognized that NAFLD can cause irreversible liver damage and raise the risk of atherosclerosis, which occurs when arterial plaque builds up.  

Few studies have been conducted, however, on the association between NAFLD and heart failure, the term used when the heart does not pump as efficiently as it should. Heart failure, which cannot be cured but can be treated with lifestyle modifications, drugs, and surgery, affects around 6 million adult Americans.  

Researchers analyzed national health survey data from 2005 to 2018 and discovered that about 3,8 million persons had NAFLD, including approximately 400,000 with heart failure. Those with NAFLD who were older, male, diabetic, or had coronary heart disease had an elevated risk for heart failure. Even after accounting for age, race, and gender, the researchers discovered that adults with NAFLD were 3.5 times more likely to experience heart failure than those without NAFLD.  

“We expected a higher risk, but not this high,” said Dr. Vardhmaan Jain, the study’s principal investigator and a cardiology fellow at Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta. The results presented this month at the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association are deemed preliminary until they are published in a peer-reviewed journal.  

“Doctors must closely monitor cardiac function and liver biomarkers to ensure that patients with heart failure do not acquire fatty liver disease and vice versa,” Jain said.  

According to him, obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol frequently play a crucial part in NAFLD. He suggested following the AHA’s Life’s Essential 8 checklist in order to improve and maintain cardiovascular health.

The list includes maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, engaging in physical activity, consuming a nutritious food, sleeping sufficiently, and regulating blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. “The findings of this study emphasize the importance of taking care of your health early in life and maintaining a healthy lifestyle over the long term,” Jain added.  

He stated that the research did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship and was unable to differentiate between different types of heart failure. He advocated for future research that follows individuals with NAFLD throughout time to determine what factors may aid in the prediction of heart failure.  

Dr. P. Barton Duell, who was not involved in the new study, stated that the findings “serve as a further reminder that the diagnosis of NAFLD is related with an elevated risk” of cardiovascular issues.  


Duell, a professor of medicine at the Knight Cardiovascular Institute and Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Clinical Nutrition at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, presided over the committee that authored a recent AHA scientific statement regarding NAFLD and cardiovascular risk.

According to him, NAFLD is also associated with an increased risk of liver cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer. As the prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome continues to increase, he advised medical professionals and the general public to take NAFLD seriously. NAFLD is an underdiagnosed and undervalued health issue. According to Duell, “It is extremely prevalent in the general population, and early diagnosis and treatment are essential.” 

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