This surgery may strongly benefit people with fatty liver disease

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In a new study from Cleveland Clinic, researchers found that patients with obesity and advanced fatty liver disease who had bariatric weight loss surgery strongly lowered their future risk of liver disease complications and serious heart disease.

More specifically, at the end of the study period, bariatric surgery was linked to an 88% lower risk of progression of fatty liver to cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver-related death.

Bariatric surgery was also linked to a 70% lower risk of developing serious heart diseases, such as heart attack and stroke in these patients.

Obesity is a major risk factor for developing an advanced form of fatty liver disease known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The accumulation of fat in the liver causes inflammation and damages the organ.

As the liver disease progresses, scar tissues form in the liver, preventing the liver from functioning properly.

A liver that is permanently damaged has cirrhosis, which increases the risk for liver cancer and may require a liver transplant to survive.

In addition to complications related to liver disease, fatty liver and NASH are strongly linked with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and heart failure.

In the study, the team examined 1,158 adult patients with biopsy-proven NASH who had their liver biopsy between 2004 and 2016.

A bariatric surgery group of 650 patients was compared with a control group of 508 nonsurgical patients. Study participants had similar characteristics such as the severity of liver disease at their baseline liver biopsy.

Ten years later, the team found advanced liver disease occurred in 2.3% in the surgical group versus 9.6% in the non-surgical group.

In addition, at the end of the study, 8.5% in the surgical group and 15.7% in the nonsurgical group developed heart attack, heart failure, stroke or death from heart disease.

At 10 years, body weight was reduced by 22.4% in the surgical group and by 4.6% in the nonsurgical group.

Bariatric surgery also was associated with a significant reduction in blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. Those findings confirm the durability of health benefits of bariatric surgery,

If you care about liver health, please read studies about this new treatment may effectively suppress liver cancer and findings of these wholegrain foods may help prevent liver inflammation and weight gain.

For more information about liver disease, please see recent studies about even mild fatty liver disease may raise early death risk and results showing that common high blood pressure drugs may reduce inflammation in liver disease.

The study is published in JAMA. One author of the study is Ali Aminian, M.D.

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