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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 45-52

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease: What is important for primary care physicians?


1 Department of Medicine, Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Eaglestone, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
2 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Omdurman Islamic University, Khartoum, Sudan
3 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Medical Sciences and Technology, Khartoum, Sudan

Correspondence Address:
Mohamed H Ahmed
Department of Medicine, Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Eaglestone, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.152252

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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is emerging as the most common chronic liver condition in Western World and across the globe. NAFLD prevalence is estimated to be around one-third of the total population. There are no published data that project the future prevalence of NAFLD, but with an increase in epidemic of diabetes and obesity, it is possible to suggest an increase in a number of individuals with NAFLD. NAFLD is associated with insulin resistance and occurs with an increase in cluster of features of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, it is important to exclude the possibility of diabetes in those individuals with evidence of fatty liver. The global diabetes epidemic continues to grow, and it is estimated that the number of people with diabetes will double by year 2030. NAFLD is also a risk factor for an increase in cardiovascular incidence independent of age, sex, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, smoking, and cluster of metabolic syndromes. It is expected that NAFLD will be an important challenge for health providers in the near future. Taking all these factors into consideration, we believe that increasing awareness of metabolic and cardiovascular impact of NAFLD among general practitioners and health authorities may decrease the serious consequences of late diagnosis of NAFLD. Importantly, the collaboration between medical specialties is vital in decreasing the impact of the epidemic of NAFLD. The focus of this review is in the role of primary care physician in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of NAFLD and patients education.


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