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Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Common in Would-Be Donors

Obesity, age and hypertriglyceridemia increase steatosis risk

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- More than six out of 10 prospective living liver donors have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, according to the results of a Korean study published in the August issue of the Journal of Hepatology.

Kang Mo Kim, of the University of Ulsan College of Medicine in Seoul, Republic of Korea, and colleagues analyzed biochemical, ultrasound, computed tomography and liver biopsy data from 589 prospective liver donors. Transplantations took place between July 2004 and September 2005.

Some 69.3 percent of participants were men, with a mean age of 31.1. The researchers found that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with steatosis of 5 percent or more was present in 51.4 percent of participants. Ten percent of donors had more than 30 percent steatosis, while 2.2 percent had non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Hypertriglyceridemia, obesity and being over age 30 increased the risk of steatosis (greater than 30 percent), with odds ratios of 2.3, 5.3 and 2.2, respectively.

"Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease was highly prevalent in potential living liver donors," the authors write. "The independent risk factors for significant steatosis were older age, obesity and hypertriglyceridemia. Ultrasonography and computed tomography had limitations in detecting significant steatosis in liver donors."

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