Liver Condition May Foretell Heart Problems
Patients with type 2 diabetes maysee a "moderately increased" risk ofheart disease if they have nonalcoholicfatty liver disease. The studyinvolved 2103 individuals with type 2diabetes, who were heart disease-free at the study's outset.
During the 5-year follow-up period,the researchers found that 248patients developed nonfatal coronaryheart disease. The conditionwas defined as having a nonfatalheart attack or needing a heart bypassor angioplasty. Participants inthis group also suffered a stroke ordied of cardiovascular causes. Bycomparison, 496 participants inthe control group showed no heartdisease.
The Italian researchers reportedthat individuals with fatty liver diseasethat was not the result of alcoholabuse had an 84% higher probabilityof developing heart disease.Theresearchers concluded that "thecasual detection of nonalcoholic liverdisease on an ultrasound" in patientswith type 2 diabetes should alertphysicians "to the coexistence ofmultiple underlying cardiovascularrisk factors warranting evaluationand treatment as much as the riskfor advancing liver disease." (Thefindings were reported in Diabetes,December 2005.)