A study found 28% of 123 patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease had insomnia and were more likely than those without sleep problems to be diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease, according to Japanese researchers. The report suggested the link between insomnia and GERD could be due to night-time reflux that awakens patients or that GERD symptoms might lead to sleep fragmentation.
Bariatric surgery can affect the expression of genes in the liver, which could help explain post-procedure metabolic effects, such as a reversal of symptoms in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, according to research from University Hospital Dresden in Germany. Liver biopsies before and after surgery found DNA methylation was changed for some loci among patients with NAFLD.
A South Korean study found nonalcoholic fatty liver disease patients whose disease was resolved over a five-year period were no longer at increased risk of developing diabetes. However, patients whose NAFLD became more severe were at increased risk of diabetes.
A study presented at the American Gastroenterological Association meeting found that patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease were at an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease. The results "suggest that patients with coronary artery disease should be screened for liver disease, and likewise [patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease] should be evaluated for coronary artery disease," said researcher Dr. Rajiv Chhabra.
According to Chinese researchers, data show patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease had significantly lowered levels of serum potassium. They said insulin resistance and central-body obesity could be connected to low potassium and the development of NAFLD and called for research into whether addressing low levels of potassium could help prevent NAFLD.