AIMS: To review available data concerning the basic science and epidemiological-clinical evidence for an association of NAFLD and cardiovascular disease. DATA SYNTHESIS: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) defines alcohol-like hepatic histological lesions seen in the non-alcoholic, insulin resistant patient representing the hepatic counterpart of the metabolic syndrome. Along with insulin resistance, additional genetic, endocrine and vascular changes together with environmental stimuli--which are also involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis--play a prominent role in the development and progression of NAFLD. Clinical and epidemiological studies seem to indicate that NAFLD is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease but further studies are needed to confirm the available data. The mainstay of NAFLD treatment is based on the correction of the same metabolic changes that predispose to atherosclerosis. CONCLUSIONS: Non-invasive evaluation of risk for cardiovascular events is recommended in all individuals presenting with NAFLD and conversely, the presence of NAFLD should always be looked for in subjects with features belonging to the metabolic syndrome. Further studies are needed on the mechanisms linking fatty liver and vascular diseases.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and cardiovascular disease: An open question / Loria, Paola; Lonardo, A; Bellentani, S; Day, Cp; Marchesini, G; Carulli, Nicola. - In: NMCD. NUTRITION METABOLISM AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES. - ISSN 0939-4753. - ELETTRONICO. - 17:9(2007), pp. 684-698. [10.1016/j.numecd.2007.01.007]