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Fatty liver disease may increase risk of stroke

Category: Liver Diseases

Liver testing may reveal an individual's risk of experiencing a stroke, as new research published in the journal Epidemiology has found that the presence of fatty liver disease and other complications may make a person three times more likely to have a stroke.

After examining more than 100 patients who were confirmed to have had a stroke through MRI imaging, a team of researchers from St. Michael's Hospital in London, England, found that these patients were much more likely to have higher levels of an enzyme that indicates the presence of liver disease.

"The risk of stroke in relation to fatty liver disease has never been tested," said Dr. Joel Ray, who led the study. "Our study shows a strong link between the two and the possibility in the future that currently available blood liver enzyme tests, or novel markers of fatty liver, may be used to predict the risk of stroke and help us better care for and treat at-risk patients."

Due in part to rising obesity rates, a growing number of individuals now have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The findings indicate that the condition may share some of the contributing factors. Therefore the presence of one increases the risk of the other.

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