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Fatty liver disease: Condition may boost heart failure risk by 50% – symptoms

Liver disease: Doctor discusses causes and symptoms

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Researchers have found NAFLD can increase the risk of heart failure by 50 percent.

The study in question looked at links between NAFLD and heart failure across 11 million middle-aged participants.

They found one in four people studied (26 percent of the study cohort) already had NAFLD.

Of this group 97,716 of them were diagnosed with heart failure.

However, while the study has identified a link between the two conditions, the scientists behind the research have said they haven’t yet identified why.

Furthermore, the study has one limitation in that it was an observational study, one which stops from them from establishing causality – whether NAFLD causes heart failure.

What are the symptoms of NAFLD?

The condition doesn’t normally present with symptoms during early stages, symptoms which can develop include:
• A dull or aching pain over the lower right side of the ribs
• Extreme tiredness
• Unexplained weight loss
• Weakness
• Jaundice
• Itchy skin
• Swelling in the legs
• Swelling in the feet
• Oedema (swelling in the abdomen).

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a condition where the heart is unable to pump blood around the body properly.

What are the symptoms?

Heart failure too also has several symptoms to look out for, such as:
• Breathless after activity or at rest
• Feeling tired most of the time
• Feeling lightheaded or fainting
• Swollen ankles and legs.

How common is heart failure in the UK?

Around 900,000 people live with heart failure in the UK with around 60,000 new cases diagnosed on average every year.

How is it treated?

Heart failure can be treated through a range of changes and medications such as lifestyle changes, medication, and surgery.

Typically, surgery could involve the placement of a device to control the heart’s rhythm, a heart bypass, or a heart transplant.

If the heart failure has a treatable cause, it can be cured.

However, it is nevertheless a serious condition, one which typically gets worse over time.

While common, each individual is different; so, someone can live with the condition in a stable state for an extended period of time.

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