Author(s): Trombetta M, Spiazzi G, Zoppini G, Muggeo M
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Abstract Non-alcoholic liver steatosis is associated with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. The prevalence of this condition in type 2 diabetes is estimated to be between 28 and 55\%. Non-alcoholic liver steatosis is not a benign disease because of its potential progression to liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and cancer. The Verona diabetes study, a population-based observational study, on 7148 type 2 diabetic patients after 5 years of follow-up has reported an increased risk of death from gastrointestinal diseases, particularly from chronic liver cirrhosis. Moreover, in the same population after 10 years of follow-up a higher risk of mortality from liver cancer was observed and this risk increased significantly in obese patients (body mass index >30 kg/m2). Of note is that obese diabetic patients suffer an even higher prevalence of non-alcoholic liver steatosis. In conclusion, the Verona diabetes study showed an increased risk of mortality from liver cirrhosis and liver cancer in type 2 diabetic patients. Diverse pathophysiological mechanisms can be responsible, i.e. higher alcohol consumption, hepatitis and others but, considering the high prevalence of non-alcoholic liver steatosis in these patients, it is plausible to hypothesize that non-alcoholic liver steatosis may play a significant role in predisposing the liver of diabetics to chronic diseases.
This article was published in Aliment Pharmacol Ther
and referenced in Emergency Medicine: Open Access