Fatty Liver Independently Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

March 14, 2011

HealthDay News - Ultrasound-diagnosed fatty liver is associated with worse metabolic profile, type 2 diabetes

HealthDay News - Ultrasound-diagnosed fatty liver is independently associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), according to a study published online Jan. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Ki-Chul Sung, MD, PhD, of Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, and Sun H. Kim, M.D., of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, examined the relationship between fatty liver and insulin resistance in the development of T2DM. The five-year risk of developing T2DM was evaluated in 11,091 Korean individuals with an ultrasound diagnosis of fatty liver who were stratified according to fasting insulin quartiles at baseline.

The investigators identified fatty liver in 27 percent of the study population. A significantly higher percentage of individuals with fatty liver had baseline insulin concentrations in the highest quartile (47 percent), compared to those without fatty liver (17 percent). Individuals with fatty liver had significantly higher glucose and triglyceride concentration and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Fatty liver was also associated with a significantly increased risk for T2DM irrespective of baseline insulin concentration. For individuals in the highest insulin quartile, there was a significant likelihood of developing T2DM even after adjusting for baseline glucose concentration and other factors.

"Fatty liver detectable by ultrasound identified individuals with worse metabolic profile and greater risk for T2DM, regardless of baseline fasting insulin concentration. Therefore, our findings suggest that fatty liver, while associated with insulin resistance, is also an independent predictor of T2DM," the authors write.

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