Podcast: How Does Fatty Liver Affect Risk for Cardiovascular Disease?

Modification of risk factors for cardiovascular disease—particularly dyslipidemia—is required to reduce morbidity and mortality in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

In a Perspective article published in the July issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Kathleen E. Corey and Naga Chalasani discuss the increased risk of cardiovascular disease among patients with NAFLD, and strategies for management.

NAFLD is the most frequent cause of liver disease in the United States. Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common causes of death among individuals with NAFLD, so management of these patients should extend beyond liver disease to include reducing risk for heart disease.

In a podcast that accompanies the article, Corey describes the dyslipidemia associated with NAFLD and how it increases their risk for cardiovascular disease.

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“People are different based on the different lipid levels that they have,” says Corey in the podcast. “You really want to look at their specific LDL, HDL, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, and additional risk factors,” she explains. “Then you can determine if they need to be treated for their dyslipidemia or not.”

In the article, Corey and Chalasani explain that clinicians should assess cardiovascular risk using the Framingham Risk Score. Patients with NAFLD should be evaluated not only for dyslipidemia, but also diabetes mellitus, hypertension, tobacco use, and the metabolic syndrome.

This article has an accompanying continuing medical education activity.

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