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Prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease varies by ethnicity

A new study has found hepatic steatosis fatty liver disease in nearly one third of American adults in a large urban population sample. The prevalence of the disease varied significantly among ethnic groups. Hispanics had a higher prevalence than whites, while blacks had a lower prevalence than whites. The study is found in the December 2004 issue of Hepatology, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hepatology is available online via Wiley InterScience at http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/hepatology.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most common cause of abnormal liver function tests among U.S. adults, can range in severity from simple fat accumulation to life-threatening liver disease. It is most commonly associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and hyperlipidemia all components of metabolic syndrome. However, not everyone with metabolic syndrome develops hepatic steatosis, and the condition does not always progress to severe stages.

Recent retrospective studies have shown that the prevalence of cirrhosis due to NAFLD may vary by ethnic group. Researchers led by Jeffrey D. Browning of the University of Texas, examined a large, ethnically diverse population sample from Dallas, Texas, to determine if ethnic differences in NAFLD-related cirrhosis were associated with underlying differences in susceptibility to hepatic triglyceride (HTGC) accumulation.

They studied 2,287 participants of the Dallas Heart Study in whom HTGC was measured using proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS). Each participant filled out a questionnaire on demographics, medical history, other medical conditions and alcohol intake. They also gave a blood sample, blood pressure, body weight and measurements, and underwent H-NMR spectroscopy of liver triglyceride
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Contact: David Greenberg
dgreenbe@wiley.com
201-748-6484
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
7-Dec-2004


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