Fatty Liver May Be A Precursor To Type 2 Diabetes

A recent study indicates that individuals who suffer from fatty liver may be 5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes as compared to those who do not have the condition. The findings were published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Fatty liver has been recently associated with obesity as well as resistance to insulin, the hormone that regulates the body’s glucose levels. The new study will somehow show that aside from fatty liver being an indicator of obesity, it may also play an independent role in people developing type 2 diabetes.

The study involved 11,091 Koreans who had a medical evaluation which included fasting insulin concentration and abdominal ultrasound as baseline. The data was collected and examined and with the participants given a follow up study after 5 years.

The study findings showed that regardless of baseline insulin concentrations, those participants who suffered from fatty liver also had more metabolic abnormalities that included higher glucose and triglyceride concentration and lower LDL or good cholesterol concentrations. Those who had fatty liver also experienced a significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those individuals who did not.

“Many patients and practitioners view fat in the liver as just ‘fat in the liver,’ but we believe that a diagnosis of fatty liver should raise an alarm for impending type 2 diabetes,” according to Sun Kim, MD, of Stanford University in Calif. and lead author of the study. “Our study shows that fatty liver, as diagnosed by ultrasound, strongly predicts the development of type 2 diabetes, regardless of insulin concentration,” he further added.

In addition, Dr. Kim said, “Our study shows in a large population of relatively healthy individuals that identifying fatty liver by ultrasound predicts the development of type 2 diabetes in five years.”

Source: The Endocrine Society. “Fatty liver may herald impending Type 2 diabetes.” ScienceDaily 25 February 2011. 3 March 2011 <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110224091613.htm>


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