Fatty Liver May Directly Mediate CAD in Metabolic Syndrome

Fatty liver significantly favors coronary artery calcification-metabolic syndrome link in women only

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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women with fatty liver are more likely to have metabolic syndrome (MetS) with type 2 diabetes, and women with fatty liver are more likely to have MetS with subclinical atherosclerosis, according to research published online Dec. 18 in Diabetes Care.

Juan G. Juárez-Rojas, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Cardiology in Mexico City, and colleagues conducted a study involving 765 people (52 percent women) without clinical atherosclerosis to study the role that fatty liver plays in the association of MetS with type 2 diabetes and coronary artery calcification (CAC). Fatty liver and CAC were determined using computed tomography.

The researchers found that fatty liver increased the association of MetS with type 2 diabetes in both women and men. Women and men with fatty liver were, respectively, 10.6- and 12.1-fold more likely to have MetS with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, women with fatty liver were 2.34-fold more likely to have MetS with CAC.

"Our study shows that isolated MetS is not independently associated with the presence of CAD. Consistent with findings of other studies, the prevalence of positive CAC was higher in men than in women," the authors write. "However, we found that fatty liver significantly favored the association of MetS with CAC only in women. Therefore, these results support the hypothesis that fatty liver may be not only a marker but even a direct mediator of atherosclerosis in women with MetS."

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