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Fatty liver increases risk of type 2 diabetes

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25 — Individuals with fatty liver are five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those without fatty liver, researchers at Stanford University in California said.

This new finding was published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) on its website.

The 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, according to the study.

"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 of Stanford University in California.

"Our study shows that fatty liver, as diagnosed by ultrasound, strongly predicts the development of type 2 diabetes regardless of insulin concentration."

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, the AAAS said. (PNA/Xinhua) vcs/utb

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