High liver and belly fat could increase risk of heart problems

22 July 2011

Overweight people who have a high percentage of liver and abdominal fat are at a greater risk of heart problems and other serious illnesses, it has been claimed.

Research conducted in France and Sweden and detailed in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association, highlights that while obesity is commonly associated with greater risk of heart disease, it is those individuals with increased secretion of liver lipids, more abdominal fat and impaired removal of triglycerides from the blood stream that are at the greatest risk.

As such, the researchers recommended measuring intra-abdominal obesity and checking for any indications of liver fat so patients can take precautionary measures.

"Increased liver fat is dangerous, as it is linked with many known heart disease risk factors," said Dr Marja-Riitta Taskinen, study co-author and professor of medicine at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

"Lifestyle modifications such as exercise and weight loss can reduce liver fat and the secretion of lipoproteins."

According to the British Heart Foundation, 17 per cent of premature deaths in men and eight per cent of premature deaths in women are caused by coronary heart disease.

Posted by Edward Bartel

1 Marja-Riitta Taskinen, Martin Adiels, Jukka Westerbacka, Sanni Söderlund, Juhani Kahri, Nina Lundbom, Jesper Lundbom, Antti Hakkarainen, Sven-Olof Olofsson, Marju Orho-Melander, Jan Borén. Dual Metabolic Defects Are Required to Produce Hypertriglyceridemia in Obese Subjects. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 2011

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