Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) - Related causes and pathologies

Many individuals with NAFLD are still not aware of being infected by a potentially dangerous health condition.


Hepatic steatosis (NAFLD) - Causes and comorbidities

Knowing the risk factors that can lead to NAFLD can be useful:

  • increased cholesterol and/or high trygliceride levels
  • diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome

We can talk about metabolic syndrome when the patient's clinical picture involves at least three of the following risk factors (common amongst cariovascular pathologies too):

  • Arterial pressure ≥ 130/85 mmHg,
  • Blood triglyceride ≥ 150 mg/dl,
  • Fasting plasma glucose ≥ 110 mg/dl,
  • HDL cholesterol inferior to 40 mg/dl in males or to 50 mg/dl in females
  • Abdominal girth superior to 102 centimeters in males or to 88 centimeters in females.

Suffering from metabolic syndrome is quite likely to involve the occurence of NAFLD too. In fact we can state that NAFLD is the expression of metabolic syndrome to a hepatic level. Nevertheless, in the absence of metabolic syndrome and wherever the patient detects one of the above mentioned risk factors, it is always advisable to turn to one's doctor and get blood tests so to rule out the existence of NAFLD.

It is appropriate to monitor the NAFLD because it can constitute an indipendent risk factor for cardiovascular pathologies. There are, as a matter of fact, connections between NAFLD and vasculopathies (blood vessels diseases).

NAFLD is an outright pathology that requires attention during the early diagnosis to prevent hepatic and cardiovascular damages.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): incidence on the population

Many individuals affected by NAFLD are not aware of suffering from a potentially dangerous condition. NAFLD, both individually and associated with other risk factors, turns to be an important factor or co-factor of progression in chronic hepatic impairments and/or cariovascular pathologies.

It's useful to pay strong attention to the NAFLD prompt diagnosis for:

  • Alcoholics;
  • Moderate alcohol drinkers (two or more alcohol units a day);
  • The elderly
  • People taking different or determined kinds of medicines;
  • People suffering from viral pathologies as, for instance, Hepatitis C;
  • Metabolic syndrome occurence.

According to researches carried out on the general population, about 1/4 of Italians aged from 18 to 65 is allegedly suffering from NAFLD and, overall, the estimated occurence of NAFLD in the general population ranges at about 20-40%, but it rises for the obese and diabetic. In the Mediterranean area, NAFLD is more frequent in men aged 30-40 if compared to women that, iinstead, come across as more sensitive to the pathology after the onset of menopause.


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