LOS ANGELES – For every 10 adult patients with type 2 diabetes, three are likely to have moderate to severe liver fibrosis, according to .
“The question is, How are we going to tackle this problem? My academic goal is that we incorporate screening for NASH [nonalcoholic steatohepatitis], or for fibrosis more specifically, in the same way we do for retinopathy or nephropathy [in diabetes], because we do have a way to treat it,” he said at the World Congress on Insulin Resistance, Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease.
, chief of the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the University of Florida, Gainesville, predicted that obesity will become the No. 1 cause of liver transplantation. “It’s a real epidemic; you’re not seeing it because the inflexion of obesity happened just 2 decades ago,” he said. “Patients with diabetes face the greatest risk of fatty liver and of fibrosis. Untreated, it’s the equivalent of having macroalbuminuria. If you do nothing and they don’t die of cardiovascular disease, they’re going to have a good chance of getting fibrosis.”
As part of the large population-based Rotterdam study of individuals aged 45 years and older, researchers found that liver stiffness of 8 kPa or more by transient elastography was present in 5.6% of the study participants and was strongly associated with steatosis and diabetes (