In Liver Disease, Thick Waist is Worse than Obesity

APRIL 20, 2016
Gale Scott
Being overweight in itself is a risk factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), but people of normal body mass index (BMI) can have a condition dubbed lean NAFLD. If these patients are thick-waisted they are in even greater danger than obese NAFLD patients.

Reporting at the International Liver Congress in Barcelona, Italian researchers disccused a study of 323 patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.

Rosa Lombardi, MD, of Policlinico Hospital, University of Milan, Milan, Italy and colleagues tracked 60 lean NAFLD patients and found they had significantly lower prevalence of hypertension and diabetes than overweight or obese NAFLD patients though lipid parameters did not differ.

But the  researchers found that in NAFLD patients having  a waist circumference greater than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men was significantly associated with having metabolic syndrome, carotid plaques, and significant fibrosis compared to obese patients with NAFLD.

This was true even in the normal weight NAFLD patients.
The research also suggested that metabolic, cardiovascular and tissue complications caused by NAFLD can be more effectively detected by combining BMI and waist measurements.

“Lean-NAFLD with central visceral obesity is a more dangerous condition than overweight NAFLD without visceral obesity,” the team concluded.

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