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Abnormal Liver Test Results...

Potential Marker of Diabetes, Hypertension,
Obesity, and Cardiovascular Disease

The detection of abnormal liver tests results has the potential not only to identify persons with liver disease but also serve as a warning signal of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and the metabolic syndromes, Experts assert that diagnosing the condition of the liver may be an indicator of several other areas of health including; diabetes, hypertension, elevated blood lipid levels and obesity.

One of the most common causes of liver disease is fatty accumulations in the liver. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been increasing in prevalence in the U.S. NASH, fat infiltration in the liver plus inflammation, (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis), may result in the development of cirrhosis. Both NAFLD and NASH are linked to the metabolic syndrome of diabetes, elevated blood lipid levels, hypertension, and obesity. Hence, the surveillance of abnormal liver tests has the potential not only to identify persons with liver disease but may serve as a signal to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Symptoms and indicators of liver disease may be delayed for years while liver injury progresses. To incorporate liver function tests would provide both primary care provider and patient with important information on the health of this non-complaining organ. Identifying abnormal test results could lead to identifying a variety of metabolic disorders. Many of these are manageable, treatable and provide critical insight resulting in better health care.

Excessive alcohol consumption was once thought to be the major cause of liver disease. This assumption is no longer true. Today, viral hepatitis and fatty liver disease are the major contributors to mortality related to liver diseases. According to the National Institutes of Health, 10 – 20 percent of adults in the U.S. have excess fat in their livers putting them at risk of developing cirrhosis.

For more information, contact:
Thelma K. Thiel