November 15, 2020
1 min read
Linge J, et al. Abstract 89. Presented at: The Liver Meeting Digital Experience; Nov. 13-16, 2020.
Linge reports she is a stockholder in, an employee of and holds a patent at AMRA Medical AB.
Visceral adipose tissue with low liver fat increased the risk for a coronary heart disease event, according to a presenter at The Liver Meeting Digital Experience.
“Visceral fat most effectively identified individuals at high risk for developing coronary heart disease,” Jennifer Linge, MSc, from Amra Medical AB, and the department of medical and health sciences at Linköping University in Sweden, said during her presentation. “In the presence of visceral obesity, low liver fat was strongly associated with a higher risk for coronary heart disease.”
Linge and colleagues scanned 12,276 individuals from the UK BioBank with a 6-minute MRI protocol to analyze for visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and liver proton density fat fraction. They followed patients for a mean 1.3 years. Investigators recorded 176 coronary heart disease (CHD) events after MRI. They divided patients into phenotype groups based on sex-specific median values of VAT and liver fat: low VAT-low liver fat, low VAT-high liver fat, high VAT-low liver fat and high VAT-high liver fat. Researchers assessed correlations of VAT-liver fat groups with incident coronary heart disease using logistic regression. They used a second model adjusted for age and BMI.
Results showed the sex-specific median values for VAT and liver fat for men were 2.3 L and 2.2%, respectively; and for women 4.7 L and 3.1%, respectively. Linge said there was a strong association between high VAT-low liver fat and incident coronary heart disease with a greater than twofold higher odds. There was no association between high liver fat and low VAT and increased risk for coronary heart disease.
The correlation between high VAT-high liver fat with CHD was attenuated after the adjustment for age and BMI. However, the correlation of higher odds for CHD among patients with high VAT-low liver fat persisted, according to Linge.
“Lowering liver fat without a resolution of visceral obesity may actually put the patients at greater risk of developing coronary heart disease then they were before,” she said. “This is something that should be considered when we develop treatments for NAFLD.”