Waist Circumference Correlates and Hepatic Fat Accumulation
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common cause of chronic liver disease and is a major public health problem worldwide. It has been suggested that simple fatty liver, the most common type of NAFLD, is a reversible condition in which large vacuoles containing triglycerides accumulate in hepatocytes. Simple fatty liver is often a precursor to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, which can progress to liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. NAFLD is considered one of the phenotypes of metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia and hypertension. Obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, is a major risk factor for NAFLD. Several recent studies have revealed a relationship between excessive visceral fat accumulation and the severity of hepatic fat accumulation. On the other hand, in the current definitions of metabolic syndrome, waist circumference measurement has been proposed as a simple and useful estimate of abdominal obesity, taking into account sex differences in waist circumference. Recent studies have also reported that waist circumference could be a marker for hepatic fat accumulation. In this chapter, we first discuss the relationship between waist circumference, hepatic fat accumulation and liver function. Finally, we discuss the sex and age-group differences in these relationships, based on recent findings.
KeywordsWaist Circumference Abdominal Obesity Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Measure Waist Circumference Umbilical Level
Body mass index
Homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance
Japan Study Group for NAFLD
- L/S ratio
Liver/spleen attenuation ratio
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
The authors would like to thank all the medical staff at Eguchi Hospital and Professor Kyuichi Tanikawa (International Institute for Liver Research) for excellent advice.
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