Researchers from the St. Michael’s Hospital and the London Health Sciences Center revealed that people who have fatty liver disease may be three times more at risk of suffering from a stroke as compared to those who do not have fatty liver. The study involved looking into non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is the accumulation of fat in the liver among non-drinkers. It was the first study to ever find a link between the said disease and stroke.
The study involved evaluating records of 103 consecutinve adults who had experienced an MRI proven acute stroke between 2005 and 2009. the data was compared to 200 adults who experienced suspected acute stroke but whose MRI scans were normal, which rules out acute stroke as the cause. The researchers discovered that adults who had an acute stroke also found high levels of enzymes known to be markers of liver disease.
According to Dr. Joel Ray, one of the researchers involved in the study says, “The risk of stroke in relation to fatty liver disease has never been tested. Our study shows a strong link between the two and the possibility in 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.”
Dr. Ray further added that while the findings are quite promising, there may still be a need for some added research into the matter in order to validate the findings in the study.
Source: St. Michael’s Hospital. “Liver disease a possible predictor of stroke.” ScienceDaily 10 January 2011. 13 January 2011 <http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2011/01/110107150556.htm>