Fatty liver may herald impending type 2 diabetes

Feb 24, 2011

A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that individuals with fatty liver were five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those without fatty liver. This higher risk seemed to occur regardless of the patient's fasting insulin levels, which were used as a marker of insulin resistance.

In recent years, has become more appreciated as a sign of obesity and resistance to insulin, a hormone that controls the body's glucose levels. This new study shows that fatty liver may be more than an indicator of obesity but may actually have an independent role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

"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," said Sun Kim, MD, of Stanford University in Calif. and senior 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."

In this study, researchers examined 11,091 Koreans who had a medical evaluation including fasting insulin concentration and abdominal ultrasound at baseline and had a follow-up after five years. Regardless of baseline insulin concentration, individuals with fatty liver had significantly more metabolic abnormalities including higher glucose and triglyceride concentration and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (sometimes called "good cholesterol") concentration. Individuals with fatty liver also had a significantly increased risk for type 2 diabetes compare to those without fatty liver.

"Our study shows in a large population of relatively healthy individuals that identifying fatty liver by ultrasound predicts the development of type 2 in five years," said Kim. "In addition, our findings reveal a complex relationship between baseline fatty liver and fasting insulin concentration."

Explore further: German medics report on drug success for Ebola patient

More information: The article, "Interrelationship between Fatty Liver and Insulin Resistance in the Development of Type 2 Diabetes," appears in the April 2011 issue of JCEM.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Liver disease a possible predictor of stroke: study

Jan 07, 2011

People suffering from fatty liver disease may be three times more likely to suffer a stroke than individuals without fatty liver, according to a study by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the London Health Sciences ...

Recommended for you

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

2 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

Bacteria in caramel apples kills at least four in US

2 hours ago

A listeria outbreak believed to originate from commercially packaged caramel apples has killed at least four people in the United States and sickened 28 people since November, officials said Friday.

Steroid-based treatment may answer needs of pediatric EoE patients

3 hours ago

A new formulation of oral budesonide suspension, a steroid-based treatment, is safe and effective in treating pediatric patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal ...

Discovery of genes that predispose a severe form of COPD

5 hours ago

A study by Ramcés Falfán-Valencia, researcher at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (INER), found that the mestizo Mexican population has a number of variations in certain genes that predispose ...

On the environmental trail of food pathogens

6 hours ago

Tracking one of the deadliest food contamination organisms through produce farms and natural environments alike, Cornell microbiologists are showing how to use big datasets to predict where the next outbreak could start.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.