Air pollution linked to this dangerous liver disease, study finds

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Metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is a growing global health challenge and poses a substantial economic burden.

In a new study from West China Fourth Hospital, researchers found links between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and MAFLD.

Formerly known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the disease may progress to end-stage liver diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, liver transplantation and liver-related death.

Accumulating animal studies have shown that breathing air pollutants may increase the risk of MAFLD.

In the study, the team focused on the potential role of ambient air pollution in the risk of MAFLD in approximately 90,000 adults in China.

They found that long-term exposure to ambient air pollution may increase the odds of MAFLD, especially in individuals who are male, smokers, and alcohol drinkers, and those who consume a high-fat diet.

Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors and an excess accumulation of fat in the abdominal area may exacerbate the harmful effects.

The findings add to the growing evidence of ambient pollution’s damaging effects on metabolic function and related organs.

However, physical activity did not seem to modify the associations between air pollution and MAFLD.

The researchers suggest that future studies explore whether the timing, intensity, and form of physical activity can mitigate the harmful effects of air pollution.

They propose that air pollution should be recognized as a modifiable risk factor for MAFLD.

Populations at high risk should be aware of the air quality in the areas where they live and plan their activities to minimize their exposures to air pollution.

If you care about liver health, please read studies about the stuff in many vegetables that can fight fatty liver disease and findings of 5 big myths about liver detoxing you should know.

For more information about liver disease prevention and treatment, please see recent studies about oral diseases linked to a 75% increase in liver cancer risk and results showing that a new way to treat chronic liver disease.

The study is published in the Journal of Hepatology. One author of the study is Xing Zhao, Ph.D.

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